Chapter 3: Medic Please
When Gunnery Sergeant Desmond Rockwell awoke a day ago, he found himself buried beneath rubble. with no sign of their sniper friend, Lance. He'd called out audibly, and over comms but, he'd had no reply either way. Either he was buried too deep in the rubble, or his comms were broken. Either way, he was on his own. Before he moved, he checked himself over, and found that his right leg had been pinned by a large piece of ceiling. It had been bleeding but, that had stopped for now. He was extremely disoriented, and couldn't determine which direction he was laying. Last thing he remembered was Lance shoving him, saying something about incoming fire from a Wraith Tank. The blast itself had probably hit one of the supporting beams that stabilized the top floor, that must have been why the roof had caved in.
He switched on his nightvision and took a look at his surroundings one more time. A single beam lay a few inches away from his head, supporting the debris on top of him, keeping it from crushing the life out of him. He could see a few inches past it, to a relatively stable section but, past it was a wall of debris that cut him off from the rest of the building. He looked down at his feet, and a pin prick of light came through a crack barely a centimeter wide. He had no idea how far he'd have to dig to reach that light, or even if that was a good idea. If he removed one wrong piece of rubble, he could make his situation, or that of Lance's even worse. If he was still alive that is.
"Shit, this is bad" he had muttered to himself, trying to gently dislodge his leg from the piece of ceiling pinning it. He heard a rumbling noise start up, so he stopped. Then he had drawn his knife, and spent the rest of the day cutting away at the ceiling tile, drywall, wires, and insulation that was pinning his leg, trying to make a hole just big enough to get his leg free with slow but, deliberate movements. He found through his movements that he had sustained other injuries as well, mostly along his stomach, back and head but, it was just pain and disorientation at this point. He wouldn't be able to tell what was hurt until he'd cut himself free of the debris trapping him. When he felt his blood pressure rise, and his breath quicken, he stopped sawing on the debris and took a break.
It wouldn't do him any good to lose control because of the increasing sense of claustrophobia. When the small pinprick of light disappeared, he new that night had fallen. Fortunately by then, he'd been able to cut himself free, and reach that wider area ahead of him. His leg was broken, and carefully removing his helmet and lightly fingering his skull revealed a minor concussion, that he was sure of as the disorientation still plagued his senses. He'd stripped off his chest and torso armor and found minor lacerations along his stomach and sides but, a piece of drywall had buried itself in his back near his shoulder blades. He could feel it especially when he propped himself up against the wall, away from the claustrophobic confines of where he'd awoken.
"Guess I'll hunker down here for the night" he muttered to himself as sleep drifted in easily. When morning came, if it came, it was still dark inside. Only the pin prick of light that he'd spotted the day before gave him any indication of the time. Dragging himself over to the wall, he wrapped his knuckles on it a few times, trying to determine how thick this particular piece of debris was. It really hadn't told him anything as far as inches, or footage went. He wasn't a construction worker, or ever a carpenter. So, he just began working away at the wall, pausing every now and then to catch his breath. When he did finally make an opening in the wall, the debris had shifted but, he could tell that on the other side was freedom and possibly safety. He saw a hallway, and evening light streaming in through the windows. He made the opening a little wider and then tried to fit himself through.
It hadn't worked the first time, or the second, and the third time just about killed him as more debris dislodged and tried to smash him. Fortunately, he'd been able to squeeze himself through and clear his injured leg, just as the wall, and the remainder of the ceiling collapsed. He sat against the wall, and blacked out due to the pain. When he awoke, the sun was close to the horizon but, he could see some kind of action going on a few blocks away, and hear the sound of a Gauss Warthog's turret firing, though he couldn't see it. Help was only a few blocks away but, he wouldn't make it there easily in his condition. He had to find a way to splint his broken leg, and make some sort of crutches, or something for him to lean against to take the weight off of his injured leg. First thing first though, he had to make a splint. Seeing two pieces of piping that had been dislodged from the ceiling, he crawled over and drug them out after some effort, and placed them on either side of his broken leg. He removed his armored chest piece slowly, then used his knife to cut away at his sleeves so he could bind the small pipes to his leg.
Tying the strips of cloth hurt like hell but, he'd been through much worse. After he was done though, he fell asleep for a few hours, letting the pain subside. When he woke again, he found himself staring at a Phantom, just outside his window. He had a moment of panic before he realized that his helmet was still on, he polarized the visor, and then waited for the Phantom to leave. A light washed over him, trained on his form for a second, and then disappeared. He watched as the Phantom slowly drifted away down the block somewhere. Bracing himself against the actual wall, he made himself stand up, gritting his teeth through the pain as he hopped his way down the hall, towards the singular door. That door led to a stairwell.
Cursing, he sighed and hopped over to the rail, and leaning heavily against it, he made his way down the stairs, one step at a time.
Gladiator's hand drifted among a field of wheat, colored in gold and white, the bristles of their heads softly playing with his skin, tickling him. Looking up, he saw a gorgeous gold and red sunset on the horizon, farms and water towers dotted the landscape. Then suddenly, the image shifted. No longer were the fields gold and white but, glassed over, burning, and black. The farms that had once dotted the landscape were blown open, or reduced to their foundations. Rim joices and crawl spaces lay exposed to the air. Bodies were everywhere consisting of both Human and Covenant. Suddenly he was running, through fields of ash, following a blood trail that led from an Elite that had it's chest cavity blown open, to a single tree that was scorched from the heat but, the top most layer of branches still held it's green leaves.
Sitting propped up by each other, their hands holding one another, lay two civilians that had bled out due to their wounds. The girl, with a pretty face and long brown hair, had her eyes closed, he lips which were now blue, were pursed ever so slightly, as if she had just finished telling the boy she laid against "I love you". A plasma wound marred the right side of her stomach. She'd died excruciatingly, painfully. Confusion clouded the Spartan's mind. It wasn't possible. It couldn't be! Suddenly the huge Spartan crashed to his knees, the earth rumbling in complaint with the impact, as he looked at the boy, the full impact of what he was seeing dawning on him. The young man had full head of black hair, his jaw and facial features strong and determined, his striking blue eyes that had once been alert, were glossed over and lifeless. A Covenant energy sword wound marred his stomach and spilled his intestines onto the ground. One hand held an old shotgun, it's polished wood work marred by the streaks of blue alien blood, the Elite's. He'd killed his attacker, and died in his lover's arms. Gladiator removed his helmet, setting it onto the ground, and moved to caress his own face.
Gasping and coughing, Gladiator groaned as he woke from the memory. His head felt like it had been split open, and his whole body was on fire. It took all the self control he had to not lift himself into a sitting position, and throw the helmet from his head. He wanted to vomit. He looked around gingerly, remembering where he was and what had just happened a few minutes ago, trying to keep in mind that he was lying prone on the bridge, and that his position was open and vulnerable. Slowly, he looked around with his eyes, trying not to move his head. A gray muddy spider-webbed looking sky was the first thing he saw through his cracked visor, but, he didn't see any Banshees flying about, or a Phantom carrier overhead. A good sign. They'd probably mistaken him for dead.
Seeing that nothing was around him thus far, he craned his head back and looked behind him. Nothing besides the broken heap of metal that had been the Gauss Warthog at the bridge's apex, a whole lot of civilian and Covenant vehicle debris littered the street between him and the 'hog, he could also see bodies that belonged to both Human and alien. He noticed the Warthog was leaning against something, the front of the vehicle smashed but, resting against the ground, it's rear was in the air with the underside of the armored all terrain vehicle facing him. He couldn't see what it was that the wrecked thing was resting against though.
He tried to zoom in on the Warthog, to see if Patric was in it's vicinity but, the HUD only groaned. Groaning himself, he gently lifted his head and checked to see if there was anything coming his way from ahead of him. Again nothing. He checked himself over before sitting up, he didn't seem to have anything broken but, he could tell a couple of his fingers had been jammed. His entire body hurt but, he'd been extremely fortunate. Groaning softly, he managed to roll himself onto his stomach, and then push himself up into a kneeling position. Taking his helmet off gingerly, he found that the hardened up-link remote sensor package atop his helmet, or the HR/RS, had been smashed almost beyond recognition. He set the helmet down for a second and gingerly ran his fingers over his military cut black hair, grimacing and taking a breath due to pain, as his fingers touched a particularly sensitive spot at the top of his head. He guessed that he had a small concussion. A moment later, when he tried to stand, he knew he was right as his vision swam and he stumbled back into a kneeling position. His DMR rifle was only a few feet away, so he crawled over to it slowly and gathered it into his shaking hands.
Making sure to not make any sudden movements, he looked around for his sniper rifle, which he spotted ten feet or so away from him. Lifting the DMR's scope up to his eyes, he looked through the scope but, his hands were shaking badly, making the sights jump. Growling, he magnetised the weapon to his thigh, then tried to stand again, only to stumble back to the ground. His stomach chose that moment to growl it's complaints. He crawled over to his sniper rifle and gathered it into his arms as well, checking it over. It was badly damaged from having been underneath him while he skidded on the road but, the scope was intact, and the weapon was usable. He made his way towards the crashed Warthog, taking his time. Halfway there, he found that he could finally stand if he held still but, walking now proved a challenge.
When he finally arrived at the destroyed vehicle, he'd found that there was no sign of Patric. Leaning up against the bus that was propping up the Warthog, the Spartan allowed himself a moments rest before he heard the high pitched squeaks and squeals of a Grunt, and the deep toned language of an Elite. Gently laying himself down, he looked beneath the bus, past it's remaining tires, and spotted the aliens, and their Wraith Tank. Luckily for him, it looks as if they were doing some routine maintenance on the tank, as both of the aliens were outside it and messing with some panels. Gladiator cursed silently in his head, as he felt the adrenaline kick in. They could find him at any moment, and he was in no condition to go toe to toe with an Elite.
In my condition the Grunt alone might be a challenge for me[/color] he thought as he sat up and slowly scooted himself around to the back of the wrecked Warthog, where they wouldn't be able to see him come on Spartan! Think, think!