"The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration."
– Pearl S. Buck, American writer, and novelist.
Author's Preface: Originally written on Nov 11, 2010. Probably one of the first attempts I made at writing a "love" story set in the SC universe. With this story, I wanted to show the slow evolution of mankind's spirit of forgiveness post-WW3 played out among two former enemies who find kinship in what is essentially hell. Also, I heavily rewrote most of this story and nearly added five more pages from the original.
6/22/2018 - Michael Mangual, NYC
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
"I am a soldier of Earth. That is all… I will tell you." The badly hurt soldier defiantly told his interrogator. The soldier sat in a dark corner, slumped and bleeding from dozens of small wounds. The beaten soldier shook uncontrollably as he felt the creature come closer and block out the little glimmer of light in the room. He continued to focus his sight on the floor. He refused to look up at his hideous captor. He could not stand its foul stench and began coughing violently as the creature came within a few feet of his corner. The soldier likened the smell of it to the smell of rotting flesh and bleach.
The creature stood over the soldiers shaking body and slashed the side of his body with its massive bladed claw. "Arrggggg!" the soldier screamed as he doubled over in pain and fell backward onto the metal floor. He felt himself slipping out of consciousness from the loss of blood. The creature no longer asked him any more questions and just slashed at him. His blood poured out of his body freely now and pooled around him completely covering the ground around him. He struggled against the invisible force that kept him in his interrogation seat but soon lost the strength to do so. The creature stopped its attack and just stared at him as he slowly died. It watched him intently like an infant amused by a spectacle. The invisible force that held the soldier lifted and he broke free, rolling onto his back and looked heavenwards. "I am… human. I will… how we die. " He used all of his remaining strength and staggered to his feet. The creature backed away from the soldier's corner, watching him still with its dull black eyes. The soldier struggled to move forward but instead fell flat on his face. "Meiying… Meiying…," he said in a whisper. Repeating that word over and over like a mantra. He was no longer aware of his failing body, his mind had drifted and he was now far away from that dark cell.
12092105 HMS Intrepid, High Above Earth Orbit, Earth [Sol]
"You have to be shitting me?! A Chinese CO?! You can't do that to my soldiers. We hate them. They're the enemy. They took everything from us, everything." The soldier was nose to nose with his commanding officer and gave him a hard stare down.
"Suck it up and follow your orders, First Sarge. That war has been over for a WHOLE fucking generation now! Get with the program. We're no longer enemies. The military is being integrated, there is nothing you can do about it. You and your men will report to the joint fleet being assembled above Mars within seventy-two hours or I'll have you shot. Now get out of my sight." The soldier gave his current CO a crisp salute and walked away whispering a heartfelt expletive.
11102106, HMS Intrepid, Frontier of Huellok Airspace, Earth [Sol]
"Hey, Marvin the Martian, what do you think of this new CO we got?" Private Henderson asked the soldier beside him who was busy cleaning his rifle.
"I told you not to call me that, shitbag. How would you feel if I called you Henderson the Earthling? Just the word Earthling sounds gay. In fact, your entire planet is full of dumbasses and faggots." The colonial soldier angrily glared at the Private and went back to cleaning his rifle.
"Wow, someone needs a hug. Your last name is Marvin, and you're from Mars. Look everyone loves Marvin the Martian. Take the damn compliment. Christ, I was just trying to make small talk." Private Henderson slammed his rifle shut and placed it to his side while at the same time he reached for his combat suit.
"Private Henderson, shut up and leave Corporal Marvin alone. We have a ton of work and less than five hours before we reach our LZ. So cut the crap." The First Sergeant turned to leave the large cargo hold where more than fifty soldiers were prepping their gear when Private Henderson asked.
"First Sarge, what do you think of the new CO?"
"I think she's a total bitch. I have no respect for her. She's a ring-knocker and she doesn't even speak English. It's like USCENTCOM is playing a twisted joke on us. She walks around with that translator of hers and it just pisses me off." The First Sergeant suddenly snapped to attention and bellowed "Officer on the deck!" Every soldier dropped what they were doing and stood at attention.
A beautiful petite Asian woman entered the room with her translator following closely right behind her and yelled in deeply accented English "At ease!" The soldiers snapped into ease and focused their attention on her. The woman began to speak in Mandarin and her translator translated her words back to them. "Gentlemen, we are four hours and thirty minutes away from our landing zone. We will land on a desert planet designated P-VF80. The planet is a colony of our enemy and is currently under siege by joint US-CA forces. Air support will be provided by our alien allies the Voorik. We will land in a secure area south of the planets capital city and begin supporting the ground forces already engaged on the ground. We don't have much time so carry on gentlemen." She looked around the room and smiled at the First Sergeant who smiled back politely. She left the room with her translator and immediately the First Sergeants smile dropped into a frown.
"Everyone get your shit squared away." The First Sergeant commanded his soldiers who returned back to work before he stormed off.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
The First Sergeant finally awoke after being knocked unconscious by a massive explosion that tore his ship in half. The Huellok attacked the fleet in orbit above P-VF80 and he now found himself alone on a makeshift bed. He picked himself up and walked towards the door. He found it open and cautiously left the cell. The First Sergeant walked down a long pitch black corridor and before he reached the end he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and he passed out.
"First Sarge? First Sarge! He's awake guys! How do you feel First Sarge?" A soldier in a bloodied uniform asked him as he checked the First Sergeant for injuries.
"I… feel… like shit. Where the hell are we?" The First Sergeant replied.
"No idea First Sarge. The Huellok attacked and boarded our ship before we could reach P-VF80. They took a few of us prisoner and then tore the ship in two with a bomb placed on board." The soldier ripped off a strip of his uniform and used it to bandage a wound in the back of the First Sergeant's head.
"My God, my God." The First Sergeant sat up and looked around the large cell. The walls were made of a strange metal he had never seen before that had thick crystalline veins running across it. The cell was lit by a dim light emitting from the center of the high ceiling, it provided little illumination. The cell had no visible door or windows. He sat in the darkness and let his eyes adjust. He could make out four other figures in the dark aside from Jed who had just bandaged his wound. "Staff Sergeant Jed, who are they?" the First Sergeant asked pointing at the figures in the dark.
"Private Kenning, he's in good condition. Master Sergeant Sikkim, he won't last the night. Corporal Marvin, he got slashed by the Huellok, but is doing fine." Staff Sergeant Jed looked around the room and leaned forward whispering into the First Sergeants ear "They got Captain Shen too. If the Huellok figure out who she is it won't be long before they make her squeal. She knows too much, we have to kill her. Kill her before the Huellok come and interrogates us. She knows where Earth is." Staff Sergeant Jed helped the First Sergeant up and they walked across the room and stood above the unconscious body of Captain Shen. "She's out cold. Perfect." Staff Sergeant Jed removed his belt and handed it to the First Sergeant. "Have the honors. I know how much you hate the Chinese. It's a chance for some payback."
The First Sergeant twisted the belt in his hands so hard his hands bloodied. He positioned himself above the unconscious woman and made a noose with the belt. His face was red with rage as he grabbed her by the arm and flipped her on her back. He bent down to wrap the belt around her neck, but he hesitated. He looked down at her face and he couldn't bring himself to do it. His anger subsided and he unmade the noose, tossing it aside. The Staff Sergeant shot him a puzzled look and the First Sergeant told him, "I've spilled too much human blood in my life. Those days are over for me… for all of us. She isn't the person that nuked my hometown or killed my family."
"First Sarge, you have to kill her, suddenly you like the woman?! You get an attack of conscience once you see a pretty face? The Chinese had no qualms about raping and killing my sister. Like they gave a shit about your family when they nuked L.A. Grow a pair of balls you…" Staff Sergeant Jed was halfway through his sentence when the First Sergeant punched him in the face knocking him off his feet. "Ahhhh… you broke my mouth!" the Staff Sergeant screamed as he clutched his face.
"You're talking. Your mouth ain't broken." The First Sergeant stared him down and said, "I am still your superior so shut your mouth." The First Sergeant walked past the Staff Sergeant who was on the floor clutching his jaw. The First Sergeant stopped and crouched near Master Sergeant Sikkim, he whispered something to the dying man's ear and proceeded to check on the other prisoners. Private Kenning was cowering in the corner of the cell in the fetal position speaking so rapidly the First Sergeant couldn't make out a word he said. The First Sergeant ignored the young private and walked to the wounded corporal. "Marvin?"
"First Sarge, it's just a scratch. It'll barely give me a man scar." The wounded Colonial corporal said with a pained chuckle.
"Bullshit. That's a deep cut. You're lucky you aren't dying from it like Sikkim." The First Sergeant opened the med kit that the wounded colonist had in his battered combat suit and cleaned and bandaged the wound as best he could. Suddenly the only light in the room drastically increased in brightness and blinded the prisoners.
One of the walls opened and three hideous creatures entered the cell. It was impossible to see them clearly in the intense light, but they came in and dragged Master Sergeant Sikkim away. The creatures dragged the dying man away in less than a heartbeat and as sudden as it occurred, it ended. The lights dimmed and the wall closed behind them. Private Kenning was wailing in the corner. Staff Sergeant Jed stopped caressing his jaw and let his mouth drop open in horror. The First Sergeant and the Colonial corporal stayed frozen in place. None of them had ever been this close to an alien before. Most people find it hard to believe other worlds, not to mention aliens actually exist unless they see it for themselves. It was one thing to read about it or see the corpses of dead aliens on the internet, but it was impossible to describe the feelings conjured up when they actually see one standing before them. Even for a second.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
"I'm so hungry. They must not eat. Two days in this shithole. I can't stand it! WE NEED FOOD! WE NEED WATER!" Staff Sergeant Jed screamed at the top of his lungs gesturing with his hands the international sign of hungry, put food in my mouth.
"Jed they know enough about us to know we need food and water. Can't you see they're screwing with us? Besides, we can go without for another day. What we need to worry about is Sikkim, Shen, and Marvin. God only knows what they're doing to Sikkim." The First Sergeant said as he checked on the still unconscious captain.
"First Sarge…" A weak voice called out in the darkness.
"Marvin?" The First Sergeant asked.
"I think my wound is infected. It hurts so much." The wounded colonist groaned. The First Sergeant ran across the room and opened up the last of the antibiotics and injected it into the corporal. "That won't do anything. I think I'm infected with some sort of alien bacterium."
"You have to stop talking like that. Start thinking more glass half-full. Ok?" The corporal chuckled with much effort and nodded at the First Sergeant.
Hours passed as the First Sergeant kept himself busy monitoring the health of both Marvin and Shen. The lights suddenly shone brightly like a sun and blinded the prisoners again. The wall opened and three creatures entered the room. The prisoners shielded their eyes with their arms and the lead creature bellowed in an unnatural voice, "Pink meat things. Demand we the location of your birth world. Deny us and we will slice your frail bodies. Answer now who is your leader?" The creatures stood silently scanning the room with their eight beady eyes.
"We don't know what you're talking about? Ain't that right Marvin?" The First Sergeant asked the corporal.
"Birth world… leader? No idea," replied Corporal Marvin.
Without warning, Captain Shen woke from her coma and released a bloodcurdling scream as she saw the three grotesque creatures standing together on the far side of the room. Their black eyes focused on her. They stared at her completely baffled. She was unlike any other human they had ever seen. She was smaller, frailer, and somehow different than the other humans. They inched toward her, but the First Sergeant started laughing uncontrollably which brought the aliens attention back to him. He stood up on his legs, pretending to have a lack of fear and told the aliens, "You'll never find Earth, our birth world. I know where it is you ugly sons of bitches. A gentleman never tells." They emitted a high pitched gleeful shrill and tackled the First Sergeant. The three creatures dragged him away and the lights dimmed once again.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
Hours passed in total silence. Occasionally the faint sound of screaming reached the cell; the sound seemed to echo off the walls. Eventually, the lights shone brightly and when it dimmed the silhouette of a man could be seen in the center of the room. The man was breathing rapidly, with much effort. Captain Shen approached the man cautiously and recognized him as the First Sergeant. She crouched next to him and reached out to touch him, but he fidgeted and backed away. The other prisoners called out to him, reassuring him that he was safe. Shen moved closer to the broken man and slowly wrapped her arms around him. He twitched violently, but she continued embracing him. She sang to him a soothing song in Mandarin, like a mother singing her child to sleep. His breathing slowed and he stopped twitching in her arms. He cried, the first time since the death of his family more than twenty years ago.
Time passed slowly and the prisoners had long since lost count of the time. Their captors began to feed them and the condition of Corporal Marvin improved. Private Kenning stopped talking to himself, but instead just didn't talk at all.
"Why the hell won't you talk about what happened when they dragged you away, what did you tell them?" Staff Sergeant Jed asked the First Sergeant who had recently recovered from his torture session.
"None of your business, it's better you don't know," the First Sergeant replied.
The lights shone brightly again, suddenly blinding the prisoners and as quick as lightning three aliens entered and dragged Private Kenning, Corporal Marvin and Staff Sergeant Jed away. Jed screamed and jerked around violently, but his captor picked him up and slammed his body against a wall until he went limp. Hours passed and both the First Sergeant and Captain Shen tried to talk to one another but found it impossible since both knew little of the other's language. So they began to teach each other some words, she would point at an object and he would translate. They made a game of it, anything to pass the time and possibly get their minds off their plight.
Eventually, Jed and Marvin returned, battered but alive. Both Shen and the First Sergeant rushed to help them. Jed refused to accept their help and instead launched a profanity-laced diatribe against Captain Shen. She didn't understand what he was saying however she understood the hostility in his voice so she backed away from him.
The First Sergeant ignored Jed and asked Marvin, "What happened to Private Kenning?"
"He's dead. The Huellok dissected him while he was still alive, they're trying to find our weaknesses. They experimented on us, tossing us into cells, seeing how much heat and cold we can endure. I don't think we're the only ones here, I think I saw the corpses of other people being dissected." Marvin shuddered and rubbed his temple obviously disturbed.
"They know as little about us as we do of them." The First Sergeant replied.
"Thank you for that pearl of wisdom. How long before they know the truth? How long before they learn about the bitch?!" Staff Sergeant Jed bellowed, pointing at Shen. The First Sergeant turned around to face him.
"Shut the hell up. They can hear you." The room filled with light and the First Sergeant ran towards the opening wall. He was seized and so was Captain Shen. Their captors beat them senseless and he awoke to the sound of screaming a short time later. The First Sergeant sat on a chair flanked by two Huellok and directly in front of him, to his horror he saw Captain Shen shackled to the wall. She was naked and bleeding. He stood up but doubled over in pain from a punch out of nowhere to his stomach. He looked up and cringed at the abomination standing before him. He had never seen the Huellok up close and without intense light blurring their features. They looked like nothing from Earth but instead like a demon from hell. It towered over him at more than eight feet. He noticed it had two heads with four eyes each. The heads moved on their own as if they were two different entities. No mouth, but small slits on each head which were its "nose." The Huellok had huge shoulders with natural spikes protruding from it. It had a barrel chest with a massive mouth lined with razor sharp teeth smack in the middle. He squinted and swore he saw more eyes around the mouth and noticed that the creature had two pairs of arms. The first and larger set extending nearly to the floor and at the end had one large blade, their primary weapon. The second set of arms was smaller and wormlike, used primarily for grasping. Its "legs" was one snakelike tendon which seemed too small to support its upper body. The Huellok were encased in a hard outer exoskeleton which appeared brownish-green and clammy. They smelled so bad up close he had to turn away. The third Huellok, the one that hit him slithered closer and began to shriek.
"Pink meat thing, how come that human is different? We've never seen any other like it. How come it speaks differently? Explain, NOW!" The leader of the three demanded from the First Sergeant.
The First Sergeant thought for a second and replied, "Because it's not human. For a supposedly superior race, you sure are stupid." He smiled for the first time since he was captured.
The leader of the Huellok grabbed him and smashed his head into the ground. Shen screamed out in Mandarin further confusing the Huellok. "Then why did it have uniform?" the alien asked the First Sergeant.
"It's our custom. We wear clothes and our prisoners wear them too. Once the human race enslaves your race we'll make you parade around in pink uniforms, you dumb bastard."
The lead Huellok roared and repeatedly smashed the First Sergeant face to the ground. Shen began to cry and scream as they beat the First Sergeant. "What is that creature saying?!"
"You… tell me," the First Sergeant said with a mouth full of blood.
"Return that thing to the cell. This one needs to learn that the Huellok are masters." The other two Huellok grabbed Captain Shen and disappeared into the darkness.
The Huellok leaned closer to the bleeding soldier, which made him throw up from the stench and whispered, "We know where your birth world is and hundreds of our ships with a hundred million soldiers are on way there. Not one human told us, but your 'allies' the Voorik gave you to us, and you're beloved Earth."
The First Sergeant laughed in disbelief and said, "You didn't send enough soldiers, you ignorant piece of shit." The Huellok sliced the soldier's ear off and beat him again.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
"Marvin, tell me about Mars," the First Sergeant asked the Corporal as he laid on the floor of the cell bruised and bloodied with his head on Captain Shen's lap. Jed sat alone in the far corner and just stared at the other three prisoners blankly.
Marvin sat up and a look of nostalgia washed across his face. "My father was an American colonist. One of the first terraformers. We lived on the plains of Utopia where he worked, just by the shores of the Great Martian Sea. It took twenty years of backbreaking work to create that ocean from the Martian ice caps. I grew up seeing it start from a lake of red brackish water to become a great sea of water that rivals some of the oceans of the old world. At night, sometimes you could see the bright star of Earth reflecting off of the water. I would sit on its shores with my dad for hours and he would tell me about the old world. Trees that touch the sky, so many beautiful animals, blue skies, and great cities that hold millions of people. I love Mars, but it's still a big desert of rust and ice. Martians live underground for the most part; sandstorms engulf the entire planet for days and can be dangerous as all hell. I want to go to Earth one day. I want to see the cities of my ancestors, the rainforests, ducks, the holy lands of the Bible, and maybe eat a Brooklyn pizza."
"Earth is overrated, it's no longer the world that your father left. Keep those memories of Earth, they are beautiful." The First Sergeant lowered his head in shame. He saw the cities burn in nuclear fire. He was there when the skies turned yellow and when they killed the forests. He tried to remember the last time he had seen an animal that wasn't a rat or insect still alive on Earth. He couldn't recall it. He looked up at Shen and she smiled. "How are your parents, Marvin?"
"Dead," Corporal Marvin stood up and leaned against the crystalline wall of the cell. "My father died in the First War of Independence against Earth, He died a hero in the siege of Luna City. It's why I'm in the Colonial military. I wanted payback for him and my Mom, God rest her soul, she bought the farm in the Second War of Independence when Earth raided New Eden. I barely survived that one." Marvin slammed the wall with his fist and coughed loudly. "It's hard. Having to forgive and forget. Sarge, I respect you, but I also hate you. Not for who you are as a person, but where you're from. I both love Earth and want her dead… I'm sorry… It's all this time in this cell, I'm not thinking straight."
"Corporal," The First Sergeant extended out his hand to him. The Corporal staggered over to the First Sergeant and took his hand. He pulled Marvin in closer and clasped his hand. Shen leaned into both of them and hugged them both. "We have to learn to live together, we're on the very brink of extinction. We almost killed ourselves off, but we survived. Now the Huellok want us dead. They don't care about us. They never will. To them, we're just another species unworthy of life. You shouldn't forget or even forgive, but for the sake of future generations of man, we have to stand united now." Marvin nodded and stood up moving back to his corner of the cell. Jed, who was ignoring them before, started to silently whimper to himself. He finally laid down on the barren floor getting ready to sleep.
"Do you actually believe that?"
"I do. I didn't before, but I do now. Things have to be different if we are to survive." The First Sergeant gave the Staff Sergeant a reassuring smile and painfully shifted from Shen's lap onto the floor. Shen began to quietly sing a Chinese melody to him. Her sweet voice filled the cell and he felt his pain eased. His tired broken body finally allowed him to sleep.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
"Pink meat thing, you know something!" His Huellok jailor screeched to him almost six inches away from his face. It was impossible for him to get used to their smell and he instinctively vomited on its clammy face. The creature reeled back and smashed a metal pipe into his arm breaking it in two. It took all the strength in his body to avoid screaming. His bone protruded from his arm and bleed profusely. The Huellok turned its attention from the First Sergeant to the three other people in the room. "Pink meat things. Unworthy of life beyond foodstuffs for nourishment. Weak, small, fragile, and fearful. Our place in this universe is set, yours isn't. Tell us where your birth world is and we will give you a warrior's death." The Huellok stood over Shen using its smaller arms to caress her face as she cried. The Huelloks small arms pulled her head toward its massive chest mouth which had now opened wide to bite her head off.
"Hey ass clown, you don't want to do that." Marvin struggled against his invisible restraints and his right arm broke free. He grabbed the large arm of the Huellok and pulled it towards him with all of his might. The Huellok barely budged, but now moved towards the defiant Martian. It ripped him from the chair and tossed him to the floor.
The Huellok shrieked again and more of its kind appeared from the dark grabbing the other three prisoners and lifting them high up into the air. Marvin tried to stand up but the alien jailor slashed at his legs, toying with him. It grabbed his legs with its smaller arms and pinned him down like a bug in a museum collection with its large claws through his shoulders. It pulled his feet into its large waiting mouth and chomped down on Marvin's feet. Marvin screamed as it purposely devoured him inch by inch from the feet up. The other three prisoners averted their eyes, but they could do nothing to block the hideous shrieks of a slowly dying man. They could hear him futilely twitch and beg, but the monster was unmoved. It did not have an iota of compassion for a creature it deemed lower than vermin. Eventually, the screaming stopped and the Huellok lowered the three prisoners to the ground.
The Huellok forced them to open their eyes and the First Sergeant heard a strange bellowing sound coming from his jailors that he instinctively knew was laughter. Laid out before him were the remains of his friend. Picked clean of flesh and eerily free of blood. The Huellok had left his head intact, only feasting on the Martians eyes. Marvin's face was contorted in pain and the sight of it forced the First Sergeant to vomit again.
"Who-MAN, weak with tender fragile flesh. Full of fear and pain, traits of an inferior race. Traits of the prey." The leading Huellok grabbed Shen by the hair and dragged her back to the cell as the other Huellok followed along with the two other survivors, smashing them against the walls as they went.
Back in their cell, all three sat together along the wall staring at the festering remains of Marvin which the Huellok had placed at the center of the cell to taunt them. The First Sergeant tried to bandage himself but passed out from loss of blood from his fractured arm.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
The First Sergeant could only guess how many months had passed in that cell. His broken arm had healed, but without proper medical attention it was contorted and he could barely lift it. Jed had killed himself less than a week after the Huellok ate Marvin, using one of the sharp bones from Marvin's remains to cut his own jugular. From Jed's death, the First Sergeant got an idea and he quietly removed the sharpest bones from Marvin's remains and concealed them under his ragged uniform. He had grown attached to Shen and the two would spend their time talking, trying to get past the language barrier. The Huellok would torture them from time to time, but oddly enough they left them mostly alone.
The First Sergeant began to enjoy his time with Shen and it embarrassed him to think he would never have fallen in love with her if they weren't captured. He wished he could somehow be back safe on earth with her so they could live out the rest of their days together in peace. He knew the few good times they spent together in this cell would eventually end. Their lives rested on the whims of their alien overlords. At any time they could kill him, or worst, kill her and leave him alone in this hellhole. The mere thought of it scared him, he was absolutely powerless. He wanted to protect her, but all he had was two sharpened rib bones. His broken body was nothing compared to their massive claws, horrendous mouth, and nine feet of pure armored muscle. He fingered his makeshift weapons to reassure himself and he sat down resting to the soothing voice of his partner.
"Meiying, what is that you're always singing?" The First Sergeant asked. Shen stopped for a second as if thinking of the right words to say.
"Prayer for us. For home again." She smiled and he could not help but smile himself. He loved that about her, that infectious smile. She somehow had enough optimism for the both of them. All his life as a soldier he was trained and indoctrinated to fight and possibly die for God and country, but this was the first time since his long-dead family he found someone that he wouldn't hesitate to die for in order to protect them.
"It's beautiful please continue," he told her as he laid his head on her lap and went to sleep secretly clutching one of his weapons.
Unknown, Unknown, Unknown
The First Sergeant felt himself return back to his body as he heard Meiying's bloodcurdling scream. He had fallen face first on the floor and knew his nose had to be broken. Adrenaline was flooding his system and he ignored the pain that was coursing through his body. All he could see was the hulking monstrosity that had seized Shen and that was pulling her towards its mouth. It had its back towards him, probably assuming that it had killed him. The First Sergeant removed a sharpened rib bone from under his uniform and ran towards the beast. One of its heads turned to face him and he drove the sharpened rib bone deep into one of its black eyes. He pulled the rib out and repeatedly stabbed the head that turned towards him. The Huellok roared and released the woman whose face was a few inches from its mouth. The Huellok rapidly turned and slashed at him with its massive forearms, barely missing him. The wounded head drooped and black blood flushed out from its eyes, the surviving head shrieked and began freaking out. One side of the monster slumped down and it came crashing down to the floor. It flapped around the floor like a fish out of the water and the First Sergeant jumped on its other head and stabbed it to death with the bone of his murdered friend. He stabbed the downed alien until he himself collapsed over its dead body.
The dark cell began to shake and the lights flickered until they finally went out. Shen ran towards him and pulled him off the beast and held him in her petite arms. She began rapidly talking in Mandarin as he lazily looked up at her face. He mouthed a word that she could not hear because of the commotion going on outside of the cell. Shen placed her ear against his mouth and he whispered, "sing." She hesitated at first and began to sing to the dying man. She felt him twitch in her arms as his body began to shut down. She sang still as he stopped moving in her arms.
A massive bang hit one of the walls of the cell and it fell to the floor shattering. Shen grabbed the bloodied rib bone from the First Sergeants cold dead hands and held it out defensively. She was determined to protect his body from becoming food. Lights bobbed up and down in the darkness beyond the broken cell door and soon light filled their cell again.
"HUMAN SOLDIERS!!! DROP YOUR WEAPONS!!!" The room filled with a dozen human soldiers clad in black armor each bearing the flags of various nations and colonies. They swarmed the room and were taken aback at the sight of Captain Shen alive. "Oh my God, we have a survivor. Bring the medic down here." The lead soldier spotted the dead Huellok and the bloodied rib bone in her hand, "You're one tough lady." A medic came into the room and confirmed that the First Sergeant was indeed dead and had trouble removing Shen from the dead man's body so he could examine her. "I don't get it. How is she still alive? The Huellok killed all the other POW's months ago after they had finished with their experiments."
The medic stood up and said "She's about three months pregnant. Maybe... they knew?"
Shen sat back down next to her partner's dead body and began to sing to him softly in Mandarin. She placed her hand over his face and closed his eyes. The human soldiers in the room bowed their heads in respect and moved back out into the darkness. Only the medic remained. He patiently waited for her to finish her song.