Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:31 pm
Fireteam Glory Part 84
Teresa walked down on the beach. There was a cool breeze on the sea, and she was glad she had her sweater to stay warm. It was calm. She wished she had someone to share it with. The whole beach was empty, except for her. Her thoughts raced in her mind like mice trapped in a cage. Most of the events that had happened in the past few weeks were finally catching up with her. A small thought lingered. A rock in the rapid waters of her mind. "How long does Earth have?" She was starting to feel uneasy. At that moment, her phone started to ring. She took it out of her pocket and looked at the contact information. It was from Seattle. She had a feeling she knew who it was. She accepted the call.
Larry was back in the smoke. It was still far too thick to see anything. He decided to look around. He was clearly on a road of some kind. He decided to walk forward, maybe there were something ahead. There were shadows, but he couldn't quite make out what they were. He took several steps. His breath was slow and even. The road continued, and he walked what he assumed was seventy feet before he stopped. He heard whispering. He turned around, and saw a marine. There were no defining features, and the soldier was wearing a helmet and face mask. The whispering continued, and the marine swept a hand in the air. The smoke disintegrated, revealing what was all around. It was a city. He turned around again, and saw that the road stopped. He was shocked at the sight of a Covenant battleship falling towards him. It had taken a beating, with hull breaches and fire across it's body. Behind that, there were more Covenant ships in the sky. It was a fleet. There was a rumbling, and the ground started to crack beneath him. The ground gave way, and he woke up. He stopped himself from screaming. He looked around. He was still in the apartment, and he was still on the couch. His breathing was fast and he had sweat on his brow. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out his phone and the paper Teresa had given him. He dialed the number and listened to the dial tone. After a few seconds, Teresa answered.
“Hey Richards. I figured you'd call at some point. Are you with your family? What's wrong? Or did you just want company?”
Larry sighed. “Yeah, I've been with them for… maybe five hours? Also, I take it you noticed? When we were in that medical bay?”
She laughed. “I'm a medic. It's my job to notice these things. Now, tell me what it was all about.”
He started. “The first was… well it was bad. I was looking at the wrecks of those evac ships. That Chieftain was there, and it charged. A Covie ship fired, and then I woke up. The second and third were the same place. A city shrouded in smoke. After a while I saw a soldier, and the smoke disappeared. There was a whole Covenant fleet.”
Teresa looked up at the sky when he said that. “I see. Anything else?”
“No. That was it. I'm coming back. We need to be ready for a fight.”
Her tone shifted to concerned. “But you haven't even been with your family for a day! Stay with them. I don't think anything will happen.”
“That's the thing. We don't know how long we have. These… nightmares have made me uneasy. I'm coming back tomorrow. I'll say my goodbyes, and then I'm on the next plane to Mombasa.”
She sighed. “I guess I can't change your mind. See you then. Keep me updated on those nightmares. It could just be stress and worry. I need to go. Bye.
“Alright. Goodbye.” He hung up. He decided to see if he could at least catch a few more hours of sleep before he told his family that he was leaving.
Teresa got back to the motel. Ivanoff was sitting on a bench outside. “Teresa! Where were you?”
“Went to the beach for a little while. How are the others?”
Ivanoff let out a small sigh. “Well, Booth decided to take a walk. She should be back shortly.”
She nodded. “And Santos?”
“Well, he's sleeping in his room. I have no clue when he'll wake up.”
A car pulled into the parking lot. A small two-seater with a deep blue color. It sat and idled for a few seconds, then shut down. The driver door opened and a man stepped out. He had pale skin, and a brown military hair cut. The man looked around, and stopped when he was looking right at them. He began walking over.
“Is that who I think it is? Richard Ivanoff!” The man sounded like a radio host.
Ivanoff looked at the man. “Kip!? Kip Rippen!?”
Kip laughed. “The one and only! I heard that you were back on Earth, and after some searching and asking around, I finally found you! Ah, who's this pretty lady?”
Ivanoff laughed. “It's good to see you my friend! That pretty lady is my team medic. Teresa, meet Kip. Kip, meet Teresa.”
Kip stuck out his hand. “Pleased to meet you Teresa! I'm certain Ivanoff has told you about me at least once.”
Teresa remembered a conversation she had been in during dinner in a mess hall. Ivanoff had told a story about a pilot. “You're the pilot that saved Ivanoff during the battle for Arcadia! I remember Ivanoff telling that story! You flew through heavy fire and managed to save an entire squad that was pinned down!”
Kip laughed. “That's me! My CO took one look at that Pelican afterwards and asked me how I didn't go down. I just shrugged and she walked away.”
Ivanoff laughed as well. “We would have been goners if Kip hadn't gotten through. We met up in that ship's mess hall afterwards and shared a few drinks. By the way, it's been a while Kip.”
Kip nodded. “Three months, to be exact. I heard about Reach. You guys gave it your best. Anyways, I brought something. Let me go grab it.”
Kip ran back to his car, and returned with a few drinks. He handed one to Ivanoff and held one out to Teresa. Teresa shook her head. “I don't drink. Never been a big fan of it.”
Kip nodded and set the extra down. He and Ivanoff opened the drinks at the same time. Kip said, “Here's to old times and meeting again!” Ivanoff said something in Russian and Kip laughed. They both took a sip. Teresa decided to go back to her room. As she stood up and walked away she heard them continue to laugh. As she got close to her room, she ran into Santos. He looked like he had just woke up. He waved. “You seen Ivanoff?”
Teresa pointed over her shoulder. “He and an old friend are having a good time over that way.”
Santos thanked her and ran in that direction. She opened the door to her room. It was a small room with an even smaller bathroom. There was a bed, a few shelves, and a TV. Not the best, but it was cheap. She sat down on the edge of the bed, and grabbed the TV remote. She flipped through the channels and settled on a comedy show based in a hospital.
“You're leaving already!?” His mother had a panicked look on her face. “You haven't even been here for a day! Why are you leaving again!?”
Larry shook his head. “I've just got this feeling. I need to go. I hate to do it, but I need to.”
His father spoke up. “Lawrence, it's just a feeling. Stay for a little longer. Please.”
Larry sighed. “I would love to, but I need to be ready. I'll be back in a few days if there's no danger. I promise.”
His father and mother looked at each other. “Alright. You come back if nothing happens in the next four days, you understand?” His mother spoke with a serious tone.
He nodded. “I understand. If nothing happens in four days, I'll be back.”
His father sighed. “I'll wake up Harold then, so he can say goodbye.”
That was a chore. When Larry told his little brother he was leaving, all h3ll broke loose. Harold started crying again. “No! No! Stay with us! Please! Don't leave!”
Larry took a deep breath. “I have to go. I'll be back in a few days. That's a promise.”
Harold calmed down, but was still sniffling. His father put his hand on Larry's shoulder.
“Come on, I'll take you to the airport.”
Larry smiled. “Thanks Dad.” He hugged Harold. “I promise I'll come back. I promise.”
He walked to the door, but before he exited he turned back to his mom and Harold. “I love you. Both of you. Stay safe, and I'll be back in a few days.”
He and Dad walked to the elevator, walked past the reception desk, and walked out onto the street. Dad took them to a parking garage down the street, and walked to his truck. It was white, with scuffed paint near the wheels. They got in, and Dad turned the truck on. It rumbled to life, and they pulled out onto the street. After a few minutes of silent driving, Dad spoke up.
“Are you alright? I know my kids, and you have been acting a little strange.”
Larry sighed. “I've been having these… nightmares. It's almost like a warning.”
Dad looked at him for a second. “Nightmares? Are you sure all this is worth a few nightmares?”
Larry wasn't quite sure. But he felt like this was the right thing to do. “I'm positive. This is what I need to do.”
After that, the ride was mostly silent. They got to the airport, and Larry got out off the car. Dad said one final thing. “Son, I love you. Stay safe.”
Larry smiled. “I will. You stay safe as well.”
Dad smiled back, and Larry closed the door. The truck drove off, and Larry walked inside the airport.