|One Grain of Sand
Author: Lex Q. Coverdale PM
From sand, glass is wrought. One grain does not stand alone, and sometimes, one event does not give way to inner reflection. After all that has happened, Tucker reflects on the events before and during his assignment on Sandtrap. -*RvB Oneshot*-Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Drama - L. Tucker - Words: 985 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 6 - Published: 01-07-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6633171
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
- One Grain of Sand -
(Halo (c) Microsoft Studios, Bungie & related creators; Red vs. Blue (c) the Rooster Teeth team. Text (c) L.Q. Coverdale. Content includes mentions of violence, some mature themes and some inappropriate language.)
What was but one grand of sand, ever caught in the shifting, the swirling, the singing of the sandstorms above and below?
It got into everything. It slipped into his food, it slid into his drink, it remained stuck fast in the worst, most unreachable places of his teal-painted armour. He could wash and shower until his water ran out, the shower floor covered in a thin, gritty, scratchy sheet, but it would still be there. Layer upon layer of sediment, tumbling away from his moving feet, almost silken in how it swerved up and down the dunes.
He wasn't sure how Junior could walk through a sandstorm with no mouth guard. Then again, the aliens - or rather, "Sangheili", as was the name for Junior's people - lived on a planet with an apparently harsh climate. Little to no fresh water, arid badlands between rows of hot desert and mountains as jagged and high as the sky. All the little guy had to do, apparently, was clamp his mandibles shut, locking them like an attack dog's bite would onto someone. His leathery, fleshy lips and nose would apparently do the job, a special ... something in his nostrils making his nose run and expel every bit of sediment that got stuck. Tucker's windpipe and skin would be ragged, gravelly flesh if he tried the same trick as his "son".
What was but one man, staggering alone across the hot surfaces, the harsh rocks, the slippery and jagged mountains of beige and gold?
Sandtrap was a wasteland if there ever was one. Almost as if the Sahara Desert had found love with Death Valley, bore his child and abandoned her cranky, wailing brood on the planet, temperatures were even hotter there than that accursed, southwestern dry patch. The sheer cold in contrast at night had made Tucker ill more than once; his first few days at the new job, the temperature extremes had caused nausea and general moodiness. Even more of a strain on his patience was meeting Junior again - after all that time, after worrying and worrying and worrying about his welfare. Church's opinions be damned, it might have been a parasite implanted in Tucker's stomach (according to the actual, licensed doctors of the UNSC), but it was his parasite!
The other aliens had been wary first. They knew of the Elite that had fallen at the temple, he who was supposed to wield a key. A little, near-hairless ape like Tucker was not worthy to wield one of the strongest plasma swords in existence. They had scoffed at him, acted aggressively, and threatened him in that ridiculous "blarg-blarg-blarg" that was their language. Junior, feeling to be "part hairless ape" himself, according to the translator, had defended Tucker ferociously. For his bickering with his own kind, he had nearly had an eye gouged out, and Tucker had sliced off the arm of one of the squid-heads.
What was but one prophecy, whether words in the air or ink on parchment, meaningless to those who did not share in its belief?
It was incredibly odd how natural the blade's handle felt in Tucker's hand. Command had showed him a few moves with it, but for some reason, wielding it felt natural. "Destiny," one might say. It even felt more natural than the "bow-chicka-wow-wow" Tucker rattled off whenever a double entendre was made. (Which, in all honesty, was having its novelty wear off, as neither the aliens nor the workers at the Sandtrap Dig Site found funny. In fact, one worker, non-alien, had already almost punched Tucker's helmet off in annoyance! There was no way he was going to try and annoy around someone six inches taller than him!)
Tucker was no great warrior. As he had once said, "I'm a lover, not a fighter!" His fights were with womanly affection and his old teammates. Yet, with every swing, stab and lunge, the blade felt right. More right than using a firearm, or throwing a grenade, or even throwing a punch would feel. As he ran one thumb along the edge of a curve in the handle, he sighed. Destiny, fate and all that crap hadn't been something he ever though about. Being the son of a ... woman of a certain kind of profession, he hadn't felt as if everything would be all right in life. He just ate, slept, drank, and tried to score what prizes he could in sweet, feminine form.
Now, however, in working with Junior and Junior's kin, things were falling into place. Gone were his wilder thoughts - the odd woman that visited the dig site registered more as superior or comrade than hot chick or not my type. He was spending more and more fatherly time with Junior, trying (and mostly failing) to teach him English. With his growing proficiency in swordsmanship, Tucker had even earned the respect of a few of the Elites. One had even nodded in approval when Tucker had told a couple of his rabble-rousing, human teammates to stop harassing a surprisingly cute-looking female alien - with a gesture from his sword. (Said alien had been the Elite's wife, so that helped.)
And what lies in the soul of every creature great and small, connected somehow to the Fates' ever-weaving web, its spider tireless as the world spins on?
Then, as he wandered over the dunes, patrolling and thinking to himself, as usual these days ... he couldn't help but wonder if something else was coming. Things seemed to have been falling into a place a little too well.