[A/N: Something I just wrote up after toying with the Model Viewer in the SDK]

Their footsteps crunched under the gravel as they slowly approached the Rebel outpost.

After what seemed to be an eternity, of trekking down barren roads, exploring zombie infested tunnels, and fending off countless Ant-lions, the group had finally managed to get to their destination.

"Look, there it is!" A vibrant voice chimed from behind him. "New Little Odessa!"

Too tired to care, he staggered on forward as his comrades reached the clearing. Nobody was home.

"Hello! Is any one here?" cried a young Rebel, about 19-20 years, which they had picked up a few days ago. His proclamation shook him out of his stupor, and he quickly told him to shut up. Unfortunately enough, the Rebel's cries soon attracted attention. Two soldiers emerged from the basement, but the Rebels quickly overpowered them. As they inspected the bodies, the Young Rebel picked up the fallen soldier's gun.

"Cool, an AR2!" the Rebel picked up the gun and began examining it. "Whoa, not even a scratch." He flipped the thing over and started to fiddle with a small button near the gun's grip. Instantly, a Dark Energy ball shot out of the muzzle and dated across the field. Within a heartbeat, everyone was down on the ground, watching as the said ball ricocheted with nearby walls and cars before dematerializing completely. He shot the kid an angry look, and snatched the Pulse Rifle from his hands.

Then out of nowhere, the distinct whirring sound of a Gunship began to permeate the air.

The group dispersed, hiding inside the main house, while he hid in the shack directly in front. New meat was still standing there without a clue, as the Gunship appeared on the horizon and tore the Rebel into two.

"Daniel, No!" came s scream from inside one of the houses. A woman had ran out and was caressing the dead body of New Meat, oblivious to the high powered bullets kicking up dust as it went for her. He tried not to look as the bullets hit her, cutting her down to nothing but a pile of flesh.

Having an idea, he ran up to the attic and was confronted with a green RPG cache next to a huge hole in the wall. He fumbled with the lid for a bit, before retrieving a Rocket Launcher and standing in front of the aperture. He laid out the few remaining rockets on the floor in a neat line, loaded up, and fired.

The rocket flew magnificently through the air, before coming directly into the Gunship's line of sight and getting shot down. Cursing under his breath, he shoved another rocket down the tube and stepped out once more…

…Only to spot his right hand man, Mike, standing on a balcony, also firing upon the Gunship. He called out his attention by firing wildly with his MP7. As he turned to him, he counted down from three with his fingers.




The rockets flew out into the open simultaneously. Mike's rocket was instantly shot down, but it gave his rocket an opportunity to steer itself into the creature's side. With a low moan and a growl, the creature shook off the attack; but not before a Dark Energy sphere struck the thing on its rear. He could tell it was getting mad. And when Gunships get angry or wounded, it unleashes its cannon.

"GET DOWN!" he cried, but Mike did not understand. An all too familiar high pitched whirring began to start, and he shouted in vain to get Mike to run for cover.

With a great flash, and a deafening roar, the Gunship soared over the house, unleashing a magnificent beam of energy from its belly. The beast circled the house, dragging its death ray with it. As he watched in both horror and awe, the Gunship shut off its cannon, revealing the once free-standing structure to be obliterated; nothing remained of the building, or its occupants.

Anger welling up inside him, he fired wildly into the air, calling the attention of the Synth. The hulk of a beast swooped down and lowered itself to a point where the two were almost having a stare down. Slowly backing away into the shadows, he silently picked up his MP7 and readied himself as the creature outside peered into the darkness; curious to where the peculiar human went.

Screaming a battle cry that would make any Combine Soldier experience fear, he made a running leap towards the monster. Startled by his sudden attack, the beast backed away, firing blindly in the process. One stray bullet hit him in his side, but that did not make him stop. Instead, he continued his attack and whirled his machine gun to his front. Training his sights on the Synth, he pressed the secondary trigger of the MP7. The under barrel of the gun sent a grenade arcing through the air before hitting the monster dead center.

The Gunship swerved and swayed as it lost control, before succumbing to the wounds it had been dealt. His body collided with the ground only moments before the bulk of the Gunship came crashing on him, instantly crushing his legs.

Paralyzed and coughing up blood, he realized that a Combine Drop ship was headed his way. Goddamn reinforcements.

Heaving himself up, he pulled out a USP match from his holster. In only a few moments, soldiers would storm the area and take him prisoner.

He was not going to let it come to that.

Studying the pistol with his free hand, he marveled how such a small tool could be such an efficient killing weapon. Examining it further revealed that a single bullet lay in its chamber.

That would do.

That would do well to spare him from the atrocities of the Combine, enough to rescue him from the barren wasteland that he lay in. Enough to grant him the peace he well and truly deserved.

He pressed the gun to his head, and pulled the trigger.