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The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 03:47
by Martzin
Garth approached the squad, his hands in his pockets.
"Any of you noticed the comms went down?" he said.

Weaver went on his headset and said "Hello," but nothing came out.
"Shit..." he continued.

Suro asked, "What do you guys think happened up there?"

"Maybe they got into telecomms..." Jools put in.

"That explains all the silence," Foster remarked.

"It's dem aliens!" Reno yelled. "They be gotten into duh comms, I tell ya!"

The squad's air was of cautiousness and suspicion, all of them glaring into Reno's face.
"Reno..." Suro said softly. "Are you... okay...?"

"Yep, yep yep yep. I'm fine, you see?"

"You ain't fine," Weaver interrupted. "You got something wrong with your brain?"

Reno's face slowly shifted into that of distraught. "No, lieutenant... I'm fine."

Weaver hemmed. "Right."

Reno sat on the ground, wiping the sweat from his forehead. He could not pin as to possibly why everyone intended on questioning him; am I doing something wrong? Was it something I said? Perhaps the combat fatigue is getting to us all... yes, the combat fatigue, that must be it.
He pinned it on that, that the squad of men was simply too tired from the restless fighting and dying that nobody could keep their heads straight. But no worries, once the operation was over and the men could recuperate everything would be fine... Reno absolutely could not wait for this drop to end. It was unbearable.

He started digging through his memories, recalling Foster's skin peeling off and desperately clinging onto Healy's wrists before he was dragged into the dark halls, the crazed glare in Suro and Ray's eyes when Reno had gotten back.

Ah, yes, 'back'. What happened before he had gotten back? All he recalled was that the doctor told him he had missed out on alot. He couldn't remember much from before besides the marines pulling him out of the goo. Maybe he was in cryogenic stasis, where his body was slowly being put back together? That's what he felt after all. He recalled that he 'said' something in his mind but couldn't remember what it was.
It doesn't matter anymore, Reno thought. It's past... but uhh... uhh... uhh...

Reno's mind became befuddled and confused. His brain had totally hit a wall. What was he talking? Wait, talking? What's that thing in the sky? Why do all the marines look at me?
Reno could see them. Their eyes. Those piercing, soulless eyes that dug into your skin and looked like they wanted to wretch your heart out. It was in all of them... Suro, Kirby, Garth, Weaver, even Foster had that wild, insane glare...
They wanted answers from him! Yes, answers! They were going to interrogate him. They are all evil, he knew, he didn't know why but he knew! The marines are not his friends, they never were, they want to rip the soul out of Reno!

Reno reached for his sabre and hugged it, clenching it tightly, those unmoving eyes still staring right into Reno...
His only friend was the sabre. He knew. His only, only friend...

Kirby pulled a lighter from his helmet, now lighting the cigar he received from Reno just minutes ago. He shakily put the roll of tobacco in his mouth, hoping in vain it would calm his nerves, but it barely made a difference.

He anxiously counted the power-packs he had left, rubbing his helmet and ended up chomping all of his nails off his fingers.
Jools scratched his stubble, that sickening pit feeling in his stomach etching into his mind. It was so unbearable, the never-ending feeling of eyes on your back, knowing something could pop out at any moment whether from above or beneath you, or even simply pop out of thin air. And then you're gone. You're gone, just like the rest of his squad. He saw that kid Martin open a cabinet door and the next thing you know he's fallen face-flat with a crab wrapped around his face and a snake pops out of his body a couple hours later. Or the SL, who was desperately attempting to un-hook the sentry when a small wad of acid made him fall flat over and un-able to move, screaming at his men to come help him until the acid globs rained down. They found the remains of one of his melted hands in Fitness.

Could it be possible to clone someone from just their hand? Jools thought. Maybe, maybe so... but too bad they left it in the pool.

Suro had seen some shit. The ceaseless fighting had gone to her brain. Every now and then she thinks she hears Kopchek or Caddy screaming, but is quick to remind herself they're already dead. Sometimes she's astonished and a bit guilty of herself that she managed to find a way out of the temple.

In the heat of the fighting, when Reno was stabbing the ugly crusher in the face Ray grabbed a pick-axe and rapidly began to break down the rocks that made up the passage into the cave. They were loose, so it wasn't too difficult. They tried to alert the rest of the squad but the fighting was too loud, and when the entire horde of lizards flooded in they made a break for it. The xenos must have been too focused on the main group, because not a single one came after the duo.
They continued to dig a tunnel through the caves until they found a way out.

Y'know, she thought, I should've left with Ray. I'm in the exact same spot I was while Reno was being cloned, but this time shittier and everyone's on the verge of cracking, including me. I feel like shit for leaving the squad behind... At this point, it seemed like a better alternative than to continue living through these caged-in hells. When's the Sulaco going to respond?

Garth was the closest to losing himself. He witnessed his entire squad die. It makes sense he's so on edge, having his squad get trapped within Hydroponics surrounded by fortifications so good that Bravo couldn't escape when the lizards found a way inside.
He had a bottomless urge inside of him to just let loose and scream and yell at Weaver for commanding him to hold Hydro, all because a sentry was still left there. Powalski saw good men die painful deaths.

He's managed to control himself so far, but he's not sure how long he can go...
Garth could feel that urge growing stronger, and he noticed a marine with a cigarette pack in his hand. He poked his shoulder.
"Hey private, spare some smokes?"

"Sure." The private handed one to Powalski, lighting it up for him.
"Thanks, pal."

"No problem, sarge."
The private continued to smoke dully, looking back at the Nexus. He opened his mouth, Garth expecting for him to say something but he quickly put the smoke back and wiped some snot from his nose.
"Hey," the private abruptly said. "You have any alcohol?"

Powalski began to feel his belt. "No, private. I got none."

Powalski could see he was desperate for a drink. He swallowed his own saliva to maybe curb the parchedness of his throat. The man had good reason to ask for one, considering if he's still here he'd definitely want to drown out the memories of whatever the hell he saw. Garth knows he'd like to. Maybe a chat would do?
"So... I'm Garth."

The man looked back at him oddly, his face dirty and half of his beard missing.

"Uhh, yeah. I'm... Duluth."

Garth slowly nodded. "Yeah... Duluth."

"What happened to your beard?" he quickly resumed.

"Oh, my beard?" Duluth rubbed the half of his face that was practically clean-shaven. "An accident with a flamer, y'know. I got lucky if I say so myself."

"Real lucky man."

"Yep, real lucky. Can't say the same for a couple of my buds..."

"None of us can, my friend."

"You're right."

"Yeah, my beard's really unlucky. Fuck, I gotta shave it all over if I want it to be even..."

"All those marines dead, and you mention your beard?" Garth inhales some tobacco.

"Well yeah, I mean... some of them were pretty friendly and died real bad, but, that's the past y'know? I can't change the past, so best not mope over it. That's what I think, 'least."

"It still happened, yeah? You don't feel... kinda guilty?"

Duluth gulped, again out of thirst. "Well, of course I feel guilty. But it's already happened, and If I can't do much about it I try not to dwell about it."

Powalski nodded. "I see what you mean. I guess it's to not let it scratch into you. I can understand that."

"Mhm... Nothing worse than worrying about things you can't change," Duluth stopped to puff out smoke, putting the cig back in his mouth promptly afterwards.

"I s'pose you're right." Garth looked at the others, noticing Jools with a canteen on his belt and remembering how he let him take a drink of some beer.

"The Delta spec might have some alcohol," Powalski pointed towards the specialist with his chin. "Go ask him."
Duluth turned around. "Which one?"

"The really short guy, about 5'5? Can't miss him if you stand close enough."
Duluth was silent for a second. "Ohh... I see him. Thanks, pal."

"Don't mention it." Powalski continued to smoke, slowly curbing his urge.

Jeffrey [or Duluth, he preferred to be called] walked over to the man, who indeed was quite short, maybe standing up to his neck. But he did seem like a gruff vet, maybe even been around since the first assault. He held his hand out and asked, "Do you have anything to drink?"
Jools felt around his belt, before pulling the canteen out. "Here you are,"
Jeff grabbed the canteen and took a couple of gulps, the thirst feeling like it had been washed away, going to his stomach where it would melt away. He gave the canteen to Jools and leaned his head back in relief.
"Thanks, Delta."

He sat down and scratched his head.

Suddenly, he felt a loud vibration in his ear, causing Jeff to bolt up to his feet gasping.
"The comms are back up!" another marine yelled.

Jeffrey listened intently, when another man on the comms hollered: "WE TOOK 'EM OUT! WE PUSHED 'EM BACK!"
"Listen up, marines." The CO had begun broadcasting. "The assault on our beloved Sully was unsuccessful, and the aliens who've boarded have been wiped out. All men on the Sulaco may relax, but soon we will head back down and finish off the lizard menace."

The whole crowd of marines immediately outbursted into a conglomeration of wild relief and excitement, Foster himself loudly whooping while Jools sprinkled himself in beer. Powalski sat back relieved, whispering to himself about god knows what. Suro was yelling loudly, Weaver calm and Jeff dancing about. Reno still sat, holding onto his sword.
"WE DID IT!" Jools maniacally yelled. "WE FUCKING KILLED THEM!"

Re: The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 04:02
by Eenkogneeto
I'm surprised this took a turn towards good ending possibility honestly. I guess it's because so many aliens stayed behind on the planet. Scrubs.
Good as always.

Re: The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 28 Dec 2016, 08:05
by Karmac
Praise late-joins, even in stories they save our lives.

Once again, still excited to see more of this, currently unsure if Reno has brain damage or is genuinely mad.

Re: The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 29 Dec 2016, 14:26
by Monoo
I feel like Reno's leading up to making some drastic decision or another. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this and I can't wait for the next one.

Re: The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 29 Dec 2016, 16:36
by Nightwolf901
Nyxia for new mention kek. Good story i like it.

Re: The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 29 Dec 2016, 21:41
by KEY
It's kind of like stumbling on good fan fiction stories that you have the guilty pleasure of knowing that not many other people will get to read them due to the small scale size of our community.

Re: The Baldie, The Clone, and the Sabre: Chapter 7

Posted: 10 Jan 2017, 12:38
by SpaceFarer
Reading through all of the chapters. Great writing, great sense of humor. This is my favorite so far, as it one by one goes through their psychological state.