If I put anything in this story that does belong to someone else, I'm sorry, notify me and I'll change it.

With that said,

Enjoy ^_^

(Guess I got to use to putting Disclamers eh?)

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A fog of ashy death clung to the natural world. The worlds sky and red earth had turned gray under the soot and rubble. Battlecrafts flew over the land, messangers of the ash to spread it's cause. One place had not been touched yet from the claws foreign to the soil, the ashy-death had not ruled over it and the messangers were angry.

Time was running out.

*

Salen cocked the last charge into his pulse rifle. His men posted themselves on the highway, one of the last remaining architectural remains standing outside of New Seattle within a 700 mile radius. It was their mission that the Korbe, those accursed things on the ships, not reach New Seattle. He was given a squad of five, all that could be spared, and had to take a post farther from Tarsals and on the highway itself.

The only way into New Seattle that still stood.

Gunshots could be heard, but their sharp, charring sounds sounded too quiet and smooth, explosions sound like gentle churning, yet the human army in Tarsals felt and heard every blow weither it missed or struck.

The commander looked over his shoulder at his men. Caldoon, his captain, had the detonators if they failed to take out the Korbe and close the road for good. Vick was the sniper who couldn't hold his liquor, or anything else when it came to gore. John and Wes were two marines, leaving Jaques, a volunteer who could barely hold his rifle strait.

"Captain," He called to Caldoon. "Take the charges fifteen yards ahead of us." The captain blinked at him. The others went silent. "Give me one of the triggers."

Caldoon's jaw clenched as he understood. "Yes sir." Applying grav. gloves, he crawled to get on the under side of the bridge.

Salen looked at the rest of them. "Vick, " He looked at the sniper. "Get on that ridge behind the light and set up. " Vick nodded. "John, bring up some debree and try to set up a barrier to hide behind. Wes and Jaques, if you can help him." Salen handed Vick the detonator to the charges. "You are going to be the one farthest away from the blast. If we start to lose, blow it all away."

The sniper grabbed the detonator and smiled. "Don't worry, I know how to do this stuff."

"That's what I'm worried about."

Vick smiled. He went to a post he had seen before, a banking curve right at the entrance. It was remote and he would be hard to see if he got close enough to the edge.

He listened quietly to the others getting ready. Vick clicked ammunition into his rifle, the sound of the rounds were the only assurance that they could do something to protect New Seattle from the Korbe. Even if he was outdated, the round were sharp enough to pierce anything, but were loud as he--...

Something clicked in Vick's mind and he looked up suddenly. It was quiet! "Commander!" He nearly yelled.

Salen looked at him, his hand not far from his rifle butt. John, Wes, and Jaques were also close to their guns as well. "What is it? Do you see something?"

"Tarsals! It's ... I hear... Nothing! No gun fire! Sir, Tarsals has fallen!" The group stood in shock and listened. The climatic silence solved the hundreds threads of life for sure. Nothing would come or go in Tarsals again. Nothing human anyway.

Jaques turned green and fell on his backside, looking like he was about to puke or cry, maybe both.. John's hands went limp, his mouth agape. The only reason the highway stood is so that the others could retreat... to New Seattle...

Wes's hands clenched and unclenched, the leather gloves grounding together against the superior pressure. His head was bowed down into his chest, sorrows started to fall from him. His brother had been in Tarsals. Snapping his head up he yelled, brining his elbows in, fists up. "We have to go to Tarsals!"

Salen on the other hand, thought critically. His mouth formed the words his heart couldn't or wouldn't understand. "We can't." The truth, like acid, burns through and can cause severe pain... "They are dead now... You know that Wes." Salen swallowed bile in his mouth, gathering from the acid that burned his heart.

"But we can't just leave them there!" Wes shouted in exasperation, feeling anger raise into his words.

Salen felt his eyes water, the acid was starting to break through the steel that which he was. "Yes we can." His fists clenched. "We can't help them... If they haven't come yet," His voice broke, the acid had broken through. ".. They... wont ever...."

Jaques opened his trap. "They... If they couldn't make it .. ... they didn't stand a chance did they?"

"Couldn't have." Vick said. "Those things.... they have all kindsa missiles and crap..." He eyed the battleships flying above the remains Tarsals. "One thing is for sure... We aren't gone yet." He grinned at Jaques. "And I am NOT going out without a bang."

Salen looked over his shoulder at Vick, himself under control. Jaques may have been comforted somewhat, and Wes calmed, yet Salen new Vick. His hands were tense, his body shook slightly. Salen knew Vick was scared. Vick was only kind enough not to break apart.

John grabbed his gun with renewed vigor. "Yeah. Come on Wes. For Max, let's hold this bridge until they stop comin'." He looked at his old compatriot and back at Salen. "Sir, permission to blow some holes in the ET's ass sir?" John gave a smirk, but his eyes lit with a passion that defied life presence.

Wes looked at John. "That's EM moron. We're not on Earth."

Jaques got a shaky hold on himself. "Right." He looked up at Salen. "What do we do now? No more reinforcements coming."

Salen looked in the distance. "Take position, and ---"

BLAM BLAM BLAM

"AGH! NO! L-LET GO!"

BLAM BLAM

"AIEEEeee...."

Salen spun around, looking for the source of the sound. It was coming from under the bridge! "Caldoon! Caldoon!"

He felt a tremble. The highway was shaking.... The Korbe had begun their assault. "Take cover! Hurry! Their coming!" Salen shouted and jumped behind a broken divider. Cocking his plasma rifle to ready the charge, he waited, and the shaking grew worse.

John and Jaques hid beside some rubble, Wes hiding behind a car. Vick lay on the side of the highway, hiding on the curb rise, his gun propped. Was he..?

Salen looked again at Vick. The sniper's eyes were locked onto something. Vick's eyes shot over to Salen so quick he almost jumped. Salen knew that shift. Vick wanted permission to shoot. Giving a slight nod, Salen rolled to the right side of the barrier, as to not get in Vick's line of sight.

Something caught his eye though as he rolled. Long spindly appendages crasped the side of the highway with virtually no noise. They looked almost like.. like.. Legs?! "VICK LOOK OUT!" Vick turned around into a metal pincer.

"AAAGGH!" He shot off a blind shot by accident and dropped his gun. Vick grabbed the pincer and tried to pull it out and failed.

The rest of the body slowly rose up to the edge of the highway, it's head formed only to be a grostique eye.

Salen leveled his gun and shot at the head, blowing it's sensitive matter all over the place and killing the beast. The blast drove his back into the rubble, the beam flew off into the distance, the recently life-handicapped monstrosity fell like lumpy grits off the bridge.

Salen gained his bearing, preparing to check on Vick. Just then, a blast hit the back of the rubble, blowing him forward, skidding onto the pavement. Gravel cut into his uncovered skin that felt like raking the skin of a turtle with a knife.

"Salen get up!" John's voice hovered above him.

Pulse rifles being fired, and explosion... Jaques's voice raised a horrified sound. "AAAAAH! My arm!" He heard Wes's gun being fired over and over and over, followed by Jaques death scream... "My arm! I can't reach my gun.. Wes! Help me! WES! No, back away! HELP! No! Get away NOOoo!"

SHINK SHINK

"AACK"

Wes's gun sounded over and over, the hot lazers sounded as though they where difinetly hitting some life, the pavement taking half of the toll, shattering and blowing all over the place. "I'll kill all you bitches...."

TZEEW!

Wes's gun stopped firing, a thud hit the pavement.

Salen pushed himself off the ground with a hard shove. He felt his plight lighten as John grabbed him under his armpit and half drug him back towards the gate. "Come on! We gotta take cover.!" John yelled. Salen looked at him, noticing his ears were bleeding, his side burned.

The highway shook horribly.

Looking back, Salen dared a sight at his attackers, and wished he hadn't. Metal flesh meeting living skin. No, it looked like it was eating it, like it was once living... It stood in the middle of the road, it's bull like head stood maybe 11 foot with six legs, metal covered as if it were it's fur, any bio residence left to decay or become unrecognizable.

Then he saw it's weapon.

A rocket launcher in place of it's right arm and a minigun replacing the left. Two missile canisters on it's shoulders amounted to possibly a Scorpion Balm missile (1).

When the smoke cleared, Salen saw two more, then ten, then fifteen... Not all of them the same. Some looked some looked like scropions, others like giant wasp's.. Some organic, other's bio metalic.... Over all.. Salen knew this is what hell would look like.

His eyes narrowed in on the first Korbe raising his right arm. "GET DOWN!" He yelled. John never heard him though. He had gone deaf in the firefight before hand.

The missile flew ahead of the two, proceeding exactly where they would have been... Minus one person. John's body flew against the walls of New Seattle, he died suddenly, from impact or blast didn't matter. Salen fought them alone now.

Salen covered himself from the shrapnel, but felt chunks of rock and cement stinking his face, clawing at his head. Over all of this, he heard Vick's voice... "I see you little spider... I hate spiders.... I make them go boom.. My sister always hated them... Go boom little spider, and take your friends with you."

He looked back again, three of the prior spiders stood over him, over Vick now, ready to stab him with their pincers. Vick held the detonator in his hand and clicked the button with a smile on his face.

No explosion.

The spider-creatures stabbed Vick, a sick squish resounded as they tore apart yet another human, blood cell from blood cell.

Salent cursed silently and searched for his side arm. Finding it there, he raised it slightly. The Korb's army didn't seem to know he was still there. He could probably get one good shot down before they blasted his guts out like a child tearing a spider web. Scanning his choices, he saw a spider on the left side of the highway's edge... The side Caldoon had left on. On it's back.. It held the charges!

He smirked ever so slightly.

Salen looked through the small scope on his gun. The Korbe were moving forward again, no organized ranks at all. Salen saw the receiver cut on the charges to keep the detonator from mixing the chemicals.

But that didn't stop him from finishing his job.

"Bye bye"

blam..

An explosion.

Salen covered his eyes from the sudden blast, and heard the recipients howl in pain. 'Come on' He urged. 'Break you stupid bridge!' He looked at parts for about a quarter of the apparent forces had been blown away.



He missed counting the one's that had still clung below the bridge. Turning around at a sudden noise, Salen found himself embracing a waiting hand to carry him across the river Styx.

SHINK

SHINK

SHINK SHINK

SHINK

New Seattle...

Had fallen.

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End Chapter

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