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Halo: Until the End-- Ch. 1True to suspicion, the next morning started out painfully.
Adele woke up screaming as her legs and torso prickled and stung, and in her effort to get away, ended up tumbling head-first out of bed. She landed hard on the concrete floor, bruising her elbow, and gritted her teeth as pain coursed through her arm. She looked up to see a man like the one she had met last nightdifferent, but still mean-looking and roughstanding over her, a short metal pole in one hand. He pressed a button and the pole spat blue sparks. Adele realized that was what had shocked her, and scrambled to get up, in case he poked her with it again.
"I am Chief Petty Officer Mendez!" a man shouted from the center of the room. Adele recognized him from the night before. "And the rest of these men are your instructors. At all times you will do whatever we say or face the consequences!"
He pointed to Adele's left, toward a doorway. "That's aft, where you will find the showers. Wash up, then double-time it bac
Halo: Until the End-- PrologueThe air that surrounded her was cold, and the coldness bit deep into her bare skin, chilling her all the way to the bone. The gleam of bright artificial lights made her bleary eyes smart as she blinked and struggled to focus her vision. How long had she been asleep? It felt like days, weeks. She gagged as she tried to inhale and found her windpipe to be blocked. She grabbed the edge of the strange tub-like bed and leaned over to face the floor, eyes bulging as she choked. Her wet, dripping hair hung around her face like tangled vines.
Something struck her forcefully on the back, hard enough to dislodge whatever was in her throat. She vomited. A clearish, sticky, oozing substance came up and splattered onto the floor. She gasped and spit out more gobs of the stuff, hating the taste. Then she looked up to see who had helped her. She found herself staring up into the leering face of a camouflage-clad, grizzled man who looked much less than happy to see her.
"What're you lookin' at,
Defying the DevilI can hear screams, lots of them; not the shrill cries of women, mind you, but the terrified howls and wails of grown men, men who've sailed from one end of the earth to another and ne'er once made a peep no matter the horror. Now they're blubbering like witless children, overcome by the sheer unbelievable despair of the situation.
I take stock; what have I got to remedy my predicament? The answer is simple: nothing. Ship's as good as scuttled, powder's all wet, my flintlock's useless and I'm just sitting here waiting for my doom to fall upon me. Not the sort of death I envisioned when I joined the Navy. Nay, I pictured myself standing at the helm of some indomitable warship, my country's colours flying high above my head as I guided my vessel to the head of some nautical battleground. Isn't that what every boy dreams of when he is named a midshipman?
Ah, ten years ago I surely wouldn't have dreamt of this as my ending. But that was then, and this is now, and now now I am on the
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