K, SonoftheBlast said I needed to be more original XP

So I'm going to take a break ( how long ? dunno … ) from writing GT3 and do something different, something that doesn't require originality … Translating someone else's fanfic :D

I know, it's the complete opposite of what Blast suggested XD But this is something I've wanted to do for a long time, so bear with me.

The following story was published in the 2002 edition of my former High School's literature journal. If you are the original author, do contact me ( tell me your name in Chinese so I know it's you. )


The Way Out ( translated from Chinese )

"Why did our forces abandon us here ?"

"We're surrounded by Xenos, if they keep coming for us, they'll suffer even greater losses, so …"

"Then HQ's gonna just watch us get slaughtered ?" That younger voice asked again.

"No, we still have a way out."

"…"

"…"

That said, Jack stopped talking, perhaps to go over the plans for breaking the siege that were to be executed in 3 hours. His face tensed. Seeing the older marines's purposeful silence, Karl asked no more.

A desolate village, a crumpling wall, riddled all over with bullet shells, like thumbtacks on a cork board, amid a pond of human and alien corpses. Jack took the time to clean his rifle as he leaned on the wall, the young lad leaning on him … no, more accurately the latter was just a kid, whose eyes still glimmered with naïve hope, who had little idea of the harsh mission that awaited them when night fell, still gathering the scattered rounds, and stringing them together with wires. "My own kid should be about this big … if he were alive." Jack thought to himself as he watched on. In fact he never had a child, just a wife. When the latter was still pregnant, the Xenomorphs came, their mindless massacres reducing his entire hometown to empty ruins. Even now, twenty years later, the pain of losing family had not diminished one bit. His face tensed even more.

"Aaaarrrrgh !"

A heart-stopping scream from the town entrance slashed the tranquility of the night, followed by the sound of an explosion. Jack grimaced. Just a few minutes ago he was looking forward to a bright new tomorrow, and now he was thrown into another world.

The mines boomed one after another. A faint hint of a tear shimmered in Jack's eyes, then quickly vanished. Immediately, he grabbed Karl's hand and dashed towards a nearby house, while at the same time shouting, "We're under attack by the Xenos ! Run for cover !" Once they've reached shelter, Jack whispered to Karl, "You guard this window, the moment you see a Xeno, just shoot, understood ?" The kid nodded nervously, silently, and held on tighter to his rifle to stop his obvious trembling. Jack fixed a steady gaze on him, "Don't be afraid, you're a brave soldier, you can take them out !"

In war, there was but a fine line between killing and being killed. And killing was the only way out !

"Where are you going ? Must I stay here by myself ?" At last the kid spoke up. Jack pointed the barrel of his rifle diagonally out the window towards the clock tower outside. "I'll be right up there, you can see me anytime, I'll always be near you !"

The chaos of battle was beyond imagining, gunfire sounded from every direction, dense black smoke rose from the edges of the town, like the hands of Death waving incessantly through the breeze, drawing its desperate victims closer and closer to itself. Walking out the door, Jack did not immediately run up the clock tower. With his left hand he fished out a syringe, bit off the thin plastic film that sealed its needle, clenched his teeth, and abruptly plunged it into his right hand which held his rifle. The white fluid diffused into him, melding rapidly with his blood, inducing an unusual reaction. Jack's eyes became like those of an eagle, alert and fierce, tirelessly scanning the battlefield for prey. The limb muscles gradually stiffened, and then relaxed again. He swooped towards the clock tower, and saw two "raptors", or Zerglings as they were called in the official briefings, tackling a firebat at the base of the tower. Without hesitation, he raised his rifle and blew off the two Zerg minions' heads, the latters' brain juice splashed onto the firebat's face. Even as the latter stood flabbergasted, Jack roared to him in an altered voice, "Stand guard here, I'll be sniping from upstairs !"

That was the effect of the Stim Pack. The white potion that gave you limitless strength; it could turn a coward into a hero, and turn soldiers like Jack into a ferocious beast, but at the same time it sapped your life away, till there was no more !

The battle raged on, but not as intense as before. The clouds of smoke around the settlement faded away eventually, revealing the exits, and yet Death seemed to have come closer, so close everyone could hear its breaths, as it waited patiently for the pathetic survivors to dwindle in number. Suddenly, a large crowd of Zerglings charged within sight, one could tell from the speed of their movement, that this was a swarm of extremely deadly bastards. The pores on Jack's entire body slowly contracted, his hands gripped his weapon tightly, magazine fully loaded. Soon, Jack heard the sound of a flamethrower, followed immediately by the tragic scream of a firebat, and closely by the noise of the creatures ripping and crunching a corpse, and finally the thudding of the same creatures rushing up the building… No time to sigh, Jack turned around and sprayed the corridor with his rifle, the stench of blood at once filled the entire walkway. The clip was empty again, Jack skillfully plucked it out and threw it aside. At that moment, two Zerglings pounced and pinned him to the floor. Several wounds appeared all over him in the blink of an eye. Blood flowed endlessly. Jack's limbs went numb, and he felt as if he was back in his hometown, and saw his dead wife, and then he was transported to a short time ago, Karl's innocent face appearing before his mind's eye. Right then, Jack awoke, "Me dying doesn't matter, but I must get the kid out of this hell !" Jack raised his still intact left hand and hammered with all his might at the Xeno trying to chew off his right arm. For a moment, it let go. Instantly, Jack lifted his rifle with both hands and swung it viciously at the alien biting on to his left leg. Having finished them off, Jack staggered down the stairs. Staring down at the dead firebat who was mutilated beyond recognition, and the charred alien corpses, he wondered how much time he still had left.

"Ki … Kid ! Come … here !" Jack called out under his breath.

"Take … this !" Jack pointed to a small pouch attached to his waist. The kid carefully took out the item, but accidentally touched the older marine's wound, an expression of agony dominated the latter's face. The boy stared in mild panic and then confusion at the pouch, it contained a few syringes of Stimulant and a bag of crushed energy bars.

"When you are … done eating … run away … from here !

The boy looked back with doubt and uncertainty, but after a while, he decided,"We'll go together, I'll carry you !"

"That … we'll … both die …"

"No, I've decided !" The kid interjected in a sudden firm tone.

Gunshots were no longer heard intermittently, almost inaudible, just a cough from some remote corner now and then. This showed that everyone who fought with guns had been wiped out, those that remained fought with teeth and claws. Karl, with Jack on his back, plodded on warily towards the edge of the town.

"I'll … die … surely, you … alone … must g… go !" Jack huffed meekly into Karl's ear. Karl did not reply, and carried on with his arduous trek. He never considered why he was doing this, never considered that even if he brought Jack out it was already too late for the old marine, that carrying Jack would slow him down, that if he left the dying man here, he could escape to fight the Zerg another day, he did not want to think of anything … till finally, Jack's body, its extremities already cold, slid off from his back. Tears gushed out from his eyes.

"No, he didn't die, he's alive ! …

No, he can't die !

…."

The boy repeated this wish over and over again, but that could not change reality. Overwhelmed with grief, Karl did not notice the Zergling approach even as it was right in front of him. A scalding pain at last drew his attention, the skin on his forehead was torn, and blood washed over his face ! The magazine in his rifle was still empty, because he had not had the time to reload, and thus he did the same thing that Jack had done. He rammed the creature with his rifle repeatedly and savagely, blood, flesh, brain juice, bile … coloured the ground. Only at this moment did the kid realize that in true war, destruction cannot be avoided.

"Kill, or be killed !" finally the decision was made, to put down Jack's lifeless body.

The boy took out a syringe, tore off the seal and stabbed it smoothly into his arm. A sudden unbearable pain shot through him together with the needle. Gradually, his limbs began to heat up, till they felt like they were on fire, muscles stiffened in step and then loosened up again. Karl felt a boundless power waiting to be unleashed ! He had at last become a killing machine.

A Hydralisk came before him, Karl did not evade it, but lifted his weapon. Just as he opened fire, the alien shot out a stream of green noxious fluid. Bullets were faster than a stream of liquid after all, so he was able to dodge the acid, while the enemy went down with a honeycomb of bullet holes in its head.

Near the town entrance, a few Zerglings were munching on a corpse, oblivious of their surroundings, until the brain juice from one of them splashed onto the others, and they stopped their ghastly feast. The boy's rifle rattled loudly again, and two more zerglings fell. Still not fast enough, the last one had caught him by his shin.

The magazine was empty again, the trigger clicked helplessly, enduring the pain he prepared to change to another clip, but was once again pinned onto the ground, his weapon swatted off his hands. With one hand Karl caught the creature's forelimb, and with another he strangled its neck, which he managed to snap only after a horrible tortuous struggle. Wounds all over his thighs, shins, forehead, shoulders. He took out the last syringe, tugged off the seal, slowly jabbed it into his arm. As the fluid trickled into his system, he felt his limbs burn once again. He picked up his rifle, reloaded it, and dragging his profusely bleeding leg, plodded straight on to the town entrance.

This was a path that glittered with hope and the light of life, a path that he and his comrades had opened with blood. At last, Karl stepped on the way out of hell. He now understood, in war the only way out, was to KILL !


( Translation notes:

In Chinese, the Hydralisk was called "Nine-headed serpent" i.e Hydra

The Zergling was called a "velociraptor", or more accurately, "veloci-beast"

The Zerg were called the "Worm Tribe" ( the Protoss, the "Spirit Tribe", and the Terrans simply as "humans" )

Xenomorphs,"aliens", was what they were called in the Starcraft prologue missions. )

Have a nice day/night,

-Star **