Creative Writing – Arid Winter Part Two

 

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This is part 2 of the story. For part 1 of the story, go here.

By Cameron Patton

I couldn’t sleep. I lied restlessly on my back, my mind constantly drifting back to the figure that Glren had seen. I kept my Cestra close at hand, in case what was once thought to be nothing, turned into something.

Glren was fast asleep a few inches away, his breathing invisible due to the mass of his armor. I took a deep breath before glancing at my helmet. It sat on a nearby stone, slightly coated in sand from the billowing arid wasteland. I shimmied over to it as quietly as I could, as to not wake Glren, then dusted off the trusty helmet.

I brushed off some sand that lingered over the visor, giving it a good inspection before placing it over my head. After a moment, my visor flickered to life, several lines of code and data flashing in my eyes before being replace with my heads-up-display.

Glancing around my HUD, I studied the information being displayed. Vitals were exceptional, radar showed no threats, suit integrity nominal. I frowned. I would need to get my suit to a power station of some kind if I wanted to keep my suit’s power.

Suddenly, a flashing red dot appeared in my radar’s range. I froze. The red dot was only assigned to unrecognized lifeforms. Assuming the worst, I drew my Cestra from its holster, my shaking hands making it hard to keep my aim steady as the dot grew closer and closer to my position.

I turned to alert Glren of the incoming ‘threat’, but where a sleeping brute of a Grineer was sleeping, was only an empty bedroll. My blood ran cold as the ground rumbled, the dot was closer than ever as I snapped back to the origin, aiming my only weapon to the dunes ahead.

The ground ruptured in front of me, knocking me to my back. There, a giant centipede-like worm burst forth from the dunes in front of me. I stared in shock as the beast before me made a loud hissing/screeching noise above me. The beast looked as if it were about to attack before a loud shouting came from behind me. I glanced back at the large rock spire that shielded us from most of the sand. From the tip of the spire, sprang Glren, his machete raised high.

Glren speared the worm’s carapace just above its massive head. The beast let out a wailing screech of pain as dark green blood dripped out in clumps from the wound. Glren was laughing madly, hanging on to the sunken machete and blasting away with his sidearm.

The worm writhed madly, trying to shake the old Grineer from the top of its head. “Come on, Drem!” the Grineer called out to me, “Join the fun!”

I stared for a moment more before reaching for my Cestra. I pointed at the beast, pulling the trigger and unleashing a fury of plasma bolts. The bolts made quick work of the worm’s carapace, puncturing and melting its outer shell.

I ran out of ammo quickly, and so did Glren. While I reloaded, Glren was busy hanging onto the beast’s head and stabbing it repeatedly with his machete. Before I could get back to shooting, a loud crack of thunder sounded from behind me.

The worm shirked once more before hurtling towards the ground above me. I gasped, rolling to the side before the worm crushed me. I dodged just in time, the worm slamming into the ground behind me.

I turned, panting heavily, “Is it.. Dead?” I asked to an equally exhausted Glren.

He shrugged, pulling the machete from the beast’s head, “We can only hope.”

I holstered my Cestra, “What the hell even is that?”

“A Deathworm.” Glren replied, holstering his own weapons, “They aren’t native to this side of Mars, but it isn’t uncommon to find one or two around here.” Glren jumped off the worm before turning and staring at the lowest point of the worm that wasn’t hidden under the sand.

I joined him, staring in awe at a rather large hole exposing the worm’s inner body, “Did.. you do that?” I asked, approaching the large wound and examining it. The flesh wasn’t cauterized, so it wouldn’t have been energy weapons.

“Did you do this?” I asked Glren.

“I thought you did.” he replied with confusion.

I was about to say something more; however, in the blink of an eye, I was on the ground. The first thing that went through my mind was confusion, then pain. I noticed my helmet had been knocked off my head by the unknown force to the back of my head. Suddenly I was picked off the ground, the firm grip of an arm around my neck and the cold metal of a gun’s barrel pressed to the side of my head.

My vision was blurry, but I could see Glren aiming his weapon and shouting something in his native language. I was still very disoriented, but one phrase caught my attention, “…Tenno skuum!”

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