TITLE: A hell like any other
Ends a patrol plot arc, starts a survival one.
Topping the rise Gideon lurched to a stop, taken aback by the scene before him. Supply buildings sat torn and melted, their broken contents littering the area. The barracks nothing but a blackened shell. Flames still rolled through great gashes in the sides of the command center. Broken vehicles littered the landscape.
Then there were the bodies.
Dozens of torn insectile bodies formed ragged lines from the shattered ring of bunkers that had once encircled the base all the way back to the ruins of the burning command center. Scattered here and there amongst them armored figures of his comrades in arms lay forever motionless, weapons still close at hand.
His eyes grew sharp as his mind took in what remained of the base. With a trained eye he followed the flow of the battle that had been fought here. There had been no rout, but a series of retreats until there was nowhere left to fall back to.
Picking his way through the carnage he slowly made his way to the burned out husks of a pair of ore transports. To the place where the marines had made their final stand. The bodies of nine marines lay intertwined with over a dozen of their killers.
Amongst them was one he had dreaded the most, Lieutenant Kerrik, twin blue arm stripes standing out. There's a reason family shouldn't serve together. Telling his sister her husband was gone was not going to be easy.
"Corporal! Get me an uplink!" Gideon called, a single tear rolling unnoticed down his cheek.