hecu_marine: (run think shoot live)
Outside the bugs might still be screaming. It's hard to say. The humans operating the floodlights came forward to grab Chell and Adrian as soon as they saw them- well, to grab Chell. Shephard almost got shot, because when the antlions are swarming and the bullets are flying, a gas mask looks an awful lot like a Combine full face helmet.

Someone saw what they were about to shoot in time, though, so Shephard avoided that fate. They're inside now, being led through the narrow corridors of some sort of concealed base. 'Led' is the operative word, as Shephard is still trying to recover from having floodlights turned on while using his mask's night vision functionality.

"So," says the human closest to Chell, a dark-skinned woman with her shotgun slung over her shoulders. "What's your story, anyway?"
hecu_marine: (lambda)
The church basement full of headcrabs turned out to have a small supply of canned food stashed away, although a few of the older cans had to be discarded (Adrian gave Chell a few quick lessons on botulism, what caused it, and why it was bad). The last building they searched had some ammo that was suitable for the Desert Eagle, but rounds for Shephard's main gun were nowhere in sight. He did, however, locate the remains of a sporting goods store. Nearly all the good stuff had been taken long ago, but there were arrowheads left in a few places, and a number of aluminum and fiberglass shafts, some vanes, and a tube of glue that hadn't gone to rot or dried up. He kept them all, along with a hatchet they managed to turn up.

"Gonna have to see if we can't find somethin' to turn into a bowstring," he mutters as they continue on their way the next day. "I dunno if any of these Xen oogieboogies've got sinews I can use, but it's worth a shot."
hecu_marine: (Default)
They're still in fairly open country, at least compared to the dense forests they'd been traveling through before emerging into the weird three-legged thing's range. This must've been farmland once. The trees're too young and the soil too good (Adrian dug up a sample to have a look) for their sparseness to indicate a disaster; they're just new. There was a time when this was human country.

The winding, recessed strip, for that matter, is too regular to have been a streambed. Yes, it turns and twists in places, but no real watercourse puts up with being very straight for very long. There's always something variable to it. Once upon a time, this was a road- a small, poorly paved road, but a road- and it went somewhere.

Shephard is dead silent as they make their way down the track. Even the hissing of his breath through his mask is muted.
hecu_marine: (run think shoot live)
Adrian and Chell have been traveling for several days now. It's become more and more obvious as they go just why nobody's out here in the wilderness any more. The Xenian wildlife's been much more in evidence as the forests've thinned out: headcrabs, bullsquids, purplish croaking one-eyed things, packs of small chirping dog-creatures with one end full of eyes and a powerful sonic attack. There's still Earth wildlife about, but what doesn't fly tends to be furtive and fleeting at best.

It's made Adrian cranky and taciturn. He grew up a country boy, and while he might be on the conservative side in a lot of areas, you don't go poisoning nature or letting things go in places where the local life isn't adapted to what you're releasing. That's just not right. At least there's been plants to forage. Autumn's coming, but late summer vegetation's still in evidence, and there've been edible fungi to be found. And bugs. He's had no problem eating those and offering the plants and such to Chell. Or the bugs, if she's shown willing, but he really doesn't expect her to go for those. Civilians and city folk generally don't.

At any rate, they've finally emerged from the densest part of the forest and into what looks like it might've been farm country once. The trees here are farther between and definitely young, and something that's either a dry streambed or the remains of a road can be made out up ahead...
hecu_marine: (run think shoot live)
Corporal Shephard's had plenty of time to think over the course of his hours on sentry duty. That patch of skyglow in the northwest looks pretty real to him; it might just be their only crack at finding a population center. He hasn't seen any signs of industrialization during his travels up until now, either human or Combine. Fair Chance was a subsistence community at best, and they were scared of him, anyway. He's got no orders, no Corps, no country-

No, that's not true. It comes down to this: America exists so long as one Marine is left alive to defend her, and by God, it looks like he's that Marine.

Kind of daunting. But it's still something.

Anyway. Staying here's not gonna do him any good. Going back to Fair Chance with Chell's not gonna help either. Even if whatever's causing the skyglow is Combine-held, it's at least something; if there's even the slightest chance of human community, he needs to join up with them and find out what's going on. Finding other people who can fill him and Chell in better than the Fair Chance folks wouldn't hurt, either.

They'll move once there's enough light for Chell to see by, then, but they've got to prepare first. Priority: go hunting for whatever water source that bullsquid came out of. He needs water. So does she. Both of them are going to need other supplies too, as long as they're at it. At least it's late summer or so. The plants around here're similar enough to the things growing around his old Preston County stomping grounds that it's almost enough to make him homesick. More important than that is the fact that it means he's got a good chance of finding them edibles.

Once Chell is awake, anyway.
hecu_marine: (run think shoot live)
Shephard comes awake three and a half hours after he laid down for his nap. It's a talent of his- he hasn't needed an alarm clock to wake himself up in years. He yawns, sits up, and stretches both arms over his head.

"Mornin', Chell," he says, though it's still dark out. "Situation report?"
hecu_marine: (pic#)
To the ears of someone accustomed to the sounds of a human city in their heydays, or the sounds of Milliways, it's quiet. There's no machinery to be heard anywhere, no engines of any kind. There's no music trickling through the background. There's no sound of human speech.

To someone used to the sounds of wilderness, it's only moderately quiet. Insects are going more dormant as evening draws on, and birds are still twittering to one another, though they're one by one roosting and dropping off to sleep. Tree branches and undergrowth chatter in the occasional breeze, the last gasps of anything like summer before autumn gets its chance to shine.

And the fire hisses and pops, crackling gleefully in its little pit. That's probably the first thing someone newly awakened under the late evening sky will notice in the little clearing, unless it's the worn and torn burlap underneath them, or the former saplings stripped down to poles on either side.

The only other human in the clearing doesn't even figure into it; he's on the other side of the fire, holding still in his camouflage fatigues and dark green vest, and isn't likely to be noticed under the best of circumstances. At least, not just yet.


hecu_marine: (Default)
Sergeant-Major Adrian Shephard

October 2016

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