Disclaimer: Don't own and never will

AN: Set during the first game.

Private Stefan Smith looked out over the ruins of the street in front of his platoon, still gripping his standard issue M82G rifle. Bodies of Helghan soldiers littered the street and a burning wrecked vehicle lay at the corner. He couldn't believe his eyes. Only a few short hours ago, he had been a rookie who had never fired his weapon in anger, not unlike most of his squad. Now, he was a veteran member of a platoon that had actually beaten back the Helghans in their small part of Vekta. Granted, their sector of Vekta was barely a street long, but the fact remained that they had actually beaten back the Helghast hordes, wave after wave of Helghan soldiers with their freaky glowing eyes.

"Do you think they'll come back?" asked Private Gary Lancer quietly, his eyes wide and alert. Despite his apparently nervous disposition, he had held his nerve when the Helghan attacked and had given a good accounting of himself as far as Stefan could see.

"Ha! We'll beat 'em off like we did earlier," Stefan replied with a grin forming on his face. "We beat 'em, totally defeated them and left them running for their butt-ugly mamas."

"I don't think we'll be seeing them back anytime soon men," Sergeant Miles Gordon told them as he stood tall, his grizzled face looking down the street with a smirk. "Even the fucking Helghast aren't that stupid."

"Ain't that the truth," Stefan said, nodding n agreement to Gary. Gary however didn't appear to share his confidence.

"Or they could be calling up something heavier to help them take this position. Or they could be flanking us. Or they could be-"

"Ah quit worrying Gary, there ain't a Helghast ANYWHERE on this street," Stefan said, cutting Gary off before he could continue. "They know they've been beaten here 'cause we're just too badass for them."

Gary didn't look convinced but then again Gary was seldom convinced by anything Stefan said.

"Boys, we got nothing to worry about," Sergeant Gordon said with a smirk. "Even if they came around that bend, they couldn't hit an elephant at this range."

"What's an elephant sarge?" asked one of the other soldiers, saving Stefan the trouble of asking himself.

"An elephant's a huge animal from old Earth. I think they used ta have a couple in Vekta City zoo," Sergeant Gordon replied with some amusement. "Real easy to hit, I hear."

There was a loud crack and suddenly Sergeant Gordon's brains were suddenly splattered over Stefan.

"Sniper!" yelled out one of the other men and soon they were blazing away with their rifles in the direction of the shot. Gary looked over to Stefan and smirked.

"I guess he didn't count," he said and Stefan rolled his eyes. It was bad enough having blood and brains spilled all over him, but having one of his fellow soldiers tease him about it just rubbed salt into the wound.