Previous: Chapter 1

Contains vulgar language. Proceed at own discretion. You have been warned.

Chapter 2

Small animals gathered around the smoking bodies on the ragged surface. Neil's Atom armor began to glow and spoke in a robot voice. *Emergency jolt activated* Eletricity surged throughout the body and Neil's heart began beating again. Needless to say, the sudden movement scared away the animals. Clearly they weren't to be eaten yet. Neil coughed in his helmet and lifted his arm to test his vision. He watched his hand and pushed himself up to his feet, at the sight of his fallen squad members. He took a few steps away from the crash sight to see where he was. They landed in some remote desert in an unknown location. Neil checked his suit's functions and activated a distress call. After about 3 minutes of static, Neil shut it off. He then heard the sounds of the other suits jolting electricity. Ali and William began to twitch. Neil walked up to them. "Can you see?"

"Yes..." they both said.

"Can you walk?" He said as he reached out his hands to them. They didn't respond and instead took his hand each and got up to their feet.

"I think I fractured a few ribs." said Ali. Neil looked over to see Christian was still on the ground. His armor didn't seem to activate the emergency jolt. The glow on the Phoenix armor matched his slow heart beat. 

"He hasn't flatlined yet, so he won't wake up. Unless..." Neil took Christian's NOVA27 out of his backpack and placed it in the fallen Phoenix's hand. He aimed the laser rifle to a small rodent wandering around and squeezed Christian's hand to fire. *PEW* The rodent vaporized and the kill was registered to the Phoenix armor, releasing a large dosage of nutrients.. Christian twitched, showing subconciousness. Neil grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. "Wake up!" he shouted as he smacked his helmet.

That was enough stimulation to awake Christian. "Hey, let go of me!" he responded. Neil obeyed and dropped Christian to the ground. "Ow!" 

"Get up." Neil said as he reached out his hand. Christian grabbed his hand and pulled himself up.

"Yeah, thanks." He took a look around. "I can't believe we survived!... Where are we?"

"Look around you, dumbass!" Ali said. "We're in the dead center of a desert!"

"Why are you so aggravated? We can just call the Ark station to send soldiers to pick us up, right?" He looked at Ali and William, who then turned their heads to Neil. "...Right?"

"I don't know what's going on. They won't respond!"

"So they left us to die here!?" William said in a panicked tone.

"No, that's insane!" Neil said frustrated. "There's no way they'd do that!"

"So then what do we do?" Asked Ali.

"We're going to stay here and wait for a response."

"I... okay..."

They waited at the impact site for about 3 hours. Neil stood still looking up while the others were fidgeting about. 

Nothing but static, and Neil finally lowered his head. "...Shit!" The others turned their heads toward him. "They can't hear us."

"So what's the plan?" Ali asked.

"We go forward."

William protested. "That's suicide! Our helmets don't have this area mapped out. We're in the middle of nowhere!"

"So what do you want to do? Stand here waiting for help to never come, or start moving, fighting for life?" Neil stared at William, who lowered his head in uncertainty.

"Look, Billy." Christian said.

"Don't call me that!"

"Think about it. We got technology, this desert has... well, nothing."

"Exactly! No resources. It's a goddamn desert!"

"We have weapons! We'll shoot whatever animals we come across. They won't stand a chance!"

Neil pointed his arm forward. "Over there is a chance at life. Right here." he said as he pointed his arm down. "Right here is death. Either you're coming or you're not."

"Okay, okay! I get it! Let's get going!"

The sun began to set as Neil and his squad walked off into the horizon. They now enter a battlefield as old as the beginning of time: the wilderness.

Next: Chapter 3

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