Hey, look an update! You lot thought I was dead but alas I am not. I know I haven't updated in a while but at least I finally got one out. I'd like to thank my beta Doomeater! Anyways without further annoyance from me, enjoy!

The air was strangely tight, as Li gasped to breathe causing his sudden awoken-ness. He looked around. This was not his room - nor was it his house. The small Asian child had no idea where he was. The last time he remembered he was in bed asleep. But now? He was in some airship. Li turned to those around him, they all looked around his age or so. Soon an overwhelming sense of panic rush through him. Where was he? Where was his mum? Or his dad? He squirmed in his seat but his attempts to escape were in vain as he was fastened to his seat. Li gasped for air, he felt like he couldn't breathe in his panic.

When a hand was placed on his shoulder, his frenzy came to a halt. Once again, confusion ran through his mind. Li glanced at the hand, then at the girl, it belonged to. She was around his age, however, she was not looking at him but instead stared forward. Nonetheless, the message was clear. 'Stop.' Li soon realised that they were surrounded by armed adults walking the aisles, while other kids remained strapped to their seats. Yet the question still resided in his mind; where was he?

They soon landed, though Li was still unsure where. An enormous tower came into view, piercing the sky. He had never seen ever seen anything so big. From there they were promptly rushed inside and everything became a blur. Then, finally, they were shuffled into a giant room. It felt empty and cold, the walls a dull grey. Li's heart pounds and he desperately wants to ask where his parents are but he's too afraid of the big scary adults. The soldiers forced them to their seats. Instantly a lady stepped onto a platform. She had a stare, a cold one, and Li could not help but be frightened by just looking at her. The stare she gave him felt like it lasted an eternity.

Finally, she spoke.

"As per Navel Code 45812, you are hereby conscripted into the UNSC Special Project, code name SPARTAN-II. You have been called upon to serve. You will be trained." The cold lady paused to examine the children once more, before continuing. "And you will become the best we can make you. You will be protectors of Earth and her colonies. This will be hard for you to understand, but you cannot return to your parents." When those words escape her lips, all the kids had a look of fear and confusion about them. They started to make noises of dread before they were silenced by the cold lady's lifted hand. "This place will become your home; your fellow trainees will be your family now. The training will be difficult. There will be a great deal of hardship on the road, but I know you will all make it. Rest now for we begin tomorrow." She clapped her hands, dismissing them all.

Li sprang up, his chest heaving. He glanced around his surroundings. A cramped, dirty old motel. He sighed. That dream. He paused. A dream, when was the last time he even had a proper dream or even proper sleep? Fight after fight, his family were always thrown into cryo, never truly receiving proper slumber. The Spartan slowly arose out of bed and walked up to the window.

The first thing he noticed was Carley on watch on top of the recreational vehicle, or R.V. as they call it. He turned to the glaring clock; 5:00 in the morning. He stepped towards the bathroom, turning on the lights as well as the faucet. Li washed his face he stared at his reflection. His silver grey eyes bore back at him. A sense of longing emerges inside him, but just as quickly that feeling cropped up it disappeared. Replaced with a taste of disgust, disgust for letting his family down. It should have been him.

The Spartan-II super soldier left the washroom and went to his armour on the couch. He reached for it and started suiting up. Even though it had been a fortnight, he was still not used to this armour. It may not be his MJOLNIR powered assault armour but it will do, especially against whatever this time period can throw at it. He then grabbed his M6C from the countertop and attached it to his hip and then his M7S that was beside his bed. After grabbing everything he needed, he left his room.

The sun hadn't risen yet, it was dark still, but that did not hinder the super-soldier since he already was augmented with night vision. He viewed the motel, the past fifteen days they had fortified this place as much as they could. Li hoped it was enough.

He sighed. Fifteen days and still no sign of help; he knew help wasn't coming, but the others seemed to hold onto the idea of salvation with a fervour the likes of which he'd never seen before. There were moments he hated being right. He observed the traveller motel once more, before descending onto to the stairs towards to Carley.

He eyed the ladder leading above leading to the hood. He'd rather not jump to the top like he did last time. Hearing Kenny's irritated scolding was enough. Grabbing hold of the side, he made his way up the ladder. As he got onto the hood, a single fold-up chair came to view and the reporter he was looking for.

Li approached the journalist; he was inwardly surprised that she had not noticed him yet. He placed a hand on her shoulder; she immediately got up, completely startled by his sudden appearance. She fumbled the rifle, almost dropped it. Yet somehow she was still able to point it at him. When she realized who it was she lowered her guard. "Jesus Christ, Sierra. You scared the hell out of me." she lowered the gun beside her. "You know I could have accidentally shot you?" She said as she placed her hands on her hips, smirking at him.

Her smile vanished in its place was a blush, when she grasped the situation. She started scratching the back of her head. "I…" she hesitated, clearly fumbling for an excuse. "I … was just resting my eyes. Yeah."

The super soldier shook his head, however, that went unnoticed by Carley as she started to view the slow sunrise. She shivered as the early morning cold getting to her. "Do you ever think they'll come?" She asked her, voice barely a whisper, not knowing if he heard it or not.

"Who?" Li question back.

"I honestly don't know. The government, the military, anyone you know?" She glanced back at the Spartan. He was silent. He knew his answer already. However, people always wanted to believe to hope for a better tomorrow. When people found out about the Spartan they revered them to something akin to a god. Li sighed, "I... Don't think anyone will come for us, Carley." He paused, he saw the disappointed expression on her face but he continued. "We are on our own here. We have to make do with what we have or scavenge. I was able to fix the generator for the inn, though I do not know how long that would last. And you saw what happened to the Air Force base. It was completely overrun."

"I know," she replied, meekly.

"Anyways," she said her tone completely changing from what it was moments ago. "What are you doing up here?"

"I'm here to relieve your position." He answered.

"Oh." She yawned. "I am fine I can still go for another hour or so."

Li did not know whether to take that as a joke or not. He was still unsure of social situations with others. "That won't be necessary. You are tired and I can handle it from here. You should get some rest while you can."

Before she could respond, she yawned and stretched her arms, killing any chance of protest. "I'm fine." She said, between yawns.

"Carley," Li voiced sternly, changing from his usual monotone accent.

The reporter placed her hands up, "All right, all right. I'll go." She placed the bolt action rifle beside the fold-up chair. "If you need anything, Sierra, don't hesitate to call." Then she was off, making her way to her room.

With that the Spartan-II commando was alone, guarding vigilantly. Nothing could be heard than the early morning birds chirping and rustle of the wind. The scenic view before him gave the illusion of peace; like nothing was of wrong. That it was not Hell on Earth anymore. He knew otherwise to believe in these delusions grandeur and tranquillity was nothing but a lie. His mind soon wandered to his family once again. How were John and the others doing? He stopped the train of thought from proceeding further. He had to focus on the moment before him, Li was certain his family were okay, with what few of them remained.

Li observed his post and stood his vigil, unshackled by the morn.

Carley gazed at the solder as she walked up to the stairs. Her thoughts wandering to what he was thinking. She soon noticed the beautiful early morning; the sounds of the birds chirping, the whistle of the wind. Moments similar to this made her question if the apocalypse did truly happen.

When she made it up to the stairs instead of going to her room she leaned on the railings and watched the giant from afar. Fifteen days, she sighed. It has been fifteen long days and no help had arrived. The reporter had the grim realization after the first week that all hope was lost for incoming help; Carley continued to focus on the Spartan not noticing the approaching companion. "Not going to sleep, Carley?"

Startled, once more, she turned to notice Lee, the ex-convict. "Soon." She replied, unsure if she will truly get any anytime soon.

They both stared into the distance in silence. "Can you believe it?" Lee said interrupting the pause between them.

"Believe what?" She questions back, not looking away from the view.

Lee looked at her for a brief moment before his attention was back to the soldier. "How that guy was able to create a defense and fortify this place in under a week?" His tone was one of disbelief, "I wonder if he ever slept at all during that time." He stared amusingly.

"I wish he would take that damn helmet off." She whispered to herself, not realizing that Lee heard it.

"Same here." He responded. "I am curious about what he looks like under that helmet." They both stared at the giant, wondering about the face of their hero. Unaware that the man himself knew what they were saying.

They stared in silence for what felt like hours mesmerized by the mystery that is the Soldier. "Can you believe it?" Lee said, breaking the pause between them. "That it's been two weeks already and we still don't know what he looks like. You know he keeps his door locked and his blinds down."

The reporter nodded, as she continued her gaze. "I'm just glad that we have him around. Imagine if we didn't. This whole wall thing would have taken forever. And those supply runs? Jesus, I don't think we would have survived this long without him." Her voice rose as she contemplated that scenario.

"You can say that again." The ex-convict agreed. "But I could do with less of with those drills he makes us do."

"Yeah, I know what you mean… But I can see why we have to do them," Carley said, now focusing onto the distance.

Lee regarded Carley as he rubbed his sore arm. "I just wish he took it easy on the kids." He sighed, as he looked back at the super soldier. "You know Duck had this massive bruise and I swear I thought Kenny was about to flip shit. And, just the other day, I saw Clem was crying, and I saw him yelling at her. I tried to tell him to take it easy. But he said something like 'Do you want her to die?' I was so fucking pissed."

Carley stayed quiet, unsure on how to answer to something like this. She knew that while the kids should be kids, however with times like such as this they need to be prepared. She took a deep breath, "I know," was all she could say. She wanted to say more, but couldn't. Something stilled her tongue.

Lee gaze on the reporter continued, only for him to sigh. He shook his head and walked off to his room. "You should get some rest, Carley."

And he was gone.

Carley barely nodded, concentrating on the view before her, taking it all in as if it would disappear right before her eyes. Soon she stared at the soldier on the top of the RV. A smile gently curled on her lips, before she too went to their room to sleep.

The alarm blared, the loud noise glaring at her eyes. She slammed the snooze while mumbling a curse under her breath. She yawned as her eyes slowly opened, staring up at the ceiling. She lazily departed her bed as another yawn escaped her lips.

She made her way to the bathroom mirror, her reflection glared at her. "Another night alive." She said to herself, "Another day to scavenge." She whispered. Her brown eyes remained to bore into her. The feeling to look away was ever present but she persisted. Her eyes looked exhausted. "Get a hold of yourself, Lilly." The airmen scolded herself. "You have to be strong if not for you then for the others."

Lilly could not believe it has been a month since the fated day the world entered hell. And beyond all the odds they somehow survived this long. Her thoughts slowly faded to the one responsible for all of it, the one that kept them going. Sierra, if not for him this group probably would have erupted into madness. She had thought that help would have arrived soon but weeks later her hope vanished. Lilly then realized that they were on their own and none will come to save them. The airmen remembered when they thought the motel had electricity and it went out, that scared her the most. But then somehow Sierra fixed it and they had power and warmth. The brunette sometimes wondered if he should have taken leadership instead of her.

She shrugged off her deep thoughts as she had no time to contemplate the what-ifs. Today was another day they were alive. "Another day to survive." She thought to herself as she turned on the faucet and washed her face and headed outside. The early midsummer morning breeze hit her and with it the view of the sunrise. She spotted the soldier taking watch again. She sighed. No matter how much she no they appreciated his help and he needed to take a rest. They needed him fully rested, not to the point of exhaustion.

Lilly then spotted Carley, and a frown haltingly formed on her face. The airwoman did not detest her but they were moments when the journalist would butt heads with her. Another sigh was released. She wished they would listen instead of constantly trying to one-up on her.

She made her way down the stairs and towards the RV. As she got closer she heard the conversation between the two.

"What do you mean, you 'might be leaving soon?!'" Lilly heard Carley hiss at Sierra.

Lilly's breathing came to a halt. Sierra leaving? "No no no," she thought. If he left them no her everything would fall apart. This had to be some kind of mistake. An overwhelming feeling of panic rose inside of her. Her breathing heaved, her mind overcome with anxiety. Until she heard someone call out to her.

"Ma'am there is no point in hiding. Why don't you come up?" Still down by the ladder, she said nothing as she knew it if he was calling her. Static to her position, processing the words called to her.

"Sierra, there is no one here but you and me." Carley voiced her tone still filled with uncertainty with from moments prior.

The soldier called out once more, "Lilly, come up. I know you are down there."

The airwoman took one final breath and climb the ladder. As she made her way up, the surprised face of Carley came to view.

The Spartan nodded to her, "it's nice for you to join us."

Lilly stared blankly at the giant soldier. He sounded sarcastic in a way. The entire time she had known him, he had never made a joke nor had anything besides a stoic tone to him. Breaking from her thoughts, she said, "What's this about you leaving us, Sierra?"

A pregnant pause filled the air, the unrelenting chirping of the morning birds could be heard. Unease pressed for longer the silence lasted. "Ma'am, you may already know but help is not coming." He spoke, his monotone English accent ever so serious. "It has been thirty days since the initial outbreak and nothing. We thought that our salvation would be at the Robins Air Force base but we were wrong." Lilly bit her lip, he was not wrong, they all banked on the idea of the military base she worked at would be there haven; they were dead wrong. The Spartan continued, "However, we saw how it was. It completely overran. That is how we saved Mark and his commissary supplies and we have been scavenging ever since. While the rest of you hunt on the outskirts of town, I would go further into the city of Macon; doing my best I can to find anything more useful and savoury."

For every word that escaped the giant's lips, the anxiety continued to build upon within her. Slowly struggling the ever needing doubt burning within her. Until she couldn't take it anymore, like pot reaching its boiling point. "Is it a lack of appreciation?" Lilly burst out. "We appreciate everything you do. Even those training sessions."

Sierra shook his head, "Captain, that is not it. You must understand what I am trying to say."

"Then what? Please just get to the point." There was desperation in her voice, the restlessness taking over.

"I came across another group of survivors two days ago."

Lilly stared at him, unmoving, as he spoke those words. Her mind formulating the worst case scenarios, doubt clouding her mind. She stood there not knowing how to express to his statement. "A-Are you leaving us for them?" She finally asked, her tone with doubt shaking with every word.

"No." He answered.

"Then what?" Lilly asked, far harsher than she wanted.

"When I cross paths with this ensemble at first they threatened me for my belongings. However, they related after I disarmed them. They apologise for their misdeeds and I was about to leave, they asked if I was alone or I was with another group. I deluded them into thinking I was alone, " He brought up his hand, calming the outburst that arisen from Lilly. "Despite my previous actions, they told me about a Demilitarised zone in Atlanta. The group confessed that they were heading there soon. When I inquired how they received this information the leader stated they heard it on the emergency broadcast. This group advised that I should head there as well, they even offered me to join their party. I declined, however."

The women stared, each forming their opinions and thoughts on Sierra's story.

"Is that why you are leaving?" Carley asked, "To head to Atlanta?"

"Yes." He replied.

The airmen officer froze, hesitation filled within her. She turned her head slightly and saw that Carley had a similar expression. With a shaky breath, she said, "You can't just leave us, Sierra. We need you here. We don't know if Atlanta is even safe. For all we know, Atlanta could be even worse off." She argued feebly.

"That may be but, nonetheless, we do not know that." The Spartan expressed, "I must know for sure."

"Bu-But we have fortifications, beds, and power. You can't just ignore that!" Carley argued against the giant's plan.

The Spartan cast his gaze at the brunettes before he shook his head. "That is temporary at best. Yes, I fixed the generator here, although, who knows how long that will last us? Another week perhaps? Or maybe even another month. The emergency generator was never meant to last this long." They both had a terrified expression, never realising the situation was momentary.

Lilly voiced harden as she glared at the soldier. "Why haven't you mention this before?"

The super soldier beamed at her, if not for his helmet they see the frown that was forming on his lips. "I have." He responded, "numerous times in fact. Even when I first repaired it. I said that it was nothing but a temporary solution and that we need to find another alternative soon. There were times when the generator shut downed and I had to find replacement parts but now it is running on nothing but fumes." He paused as he let his words be consumed by the two in front of him. He sighed before he began again, "This whole base is nothing more than a momentary interim. It will not last. The fortification I set will rot and with it our safety. The electricity will end and with it our warmth." The way he spoke of the casualness of their demise shocked the women. It sounded like someone was talking about the weather.

Lilly swallowed the lump that formed on her throat. Her mouth opens, but no words came out. The summer breeze blew her hair, getting some of it in her mouth, still unhindered by their conversation.

It was Carley who spoke first, breaking the upending silence. "T-Then what do you suggest we do?" The journalist's tone was full of uneasiness, as well as a small sense of plea.

The Spartan-II commando watches the two brunettes, contemplating everything. Soon he thought of a plan, that'll suit everyone. "I will stay but though not for long. In a month's time, I will leave, nonetheless, before that time arrives, I shall scavenge enough supplies for everyone, as well for my journey. If all goes as planned, and it is safe there, I will travel back to inform everyone."

As quickly as their relieved expressions were, it vanished as fast.

The pregnant paused encompassed them once more. It was eerily silent, as both women had a face of grim. Uncertain of their survival without the bless giant. Finally, it was Lilly who spoke out, breaking the uncomfortable perpetual quietness. "What will we tell the others then?" She asked, meekly.

The super soldier faced Lilly, "Do not worry, I will inform the rest of the group, in due time. All I ask for is that you two keep this to yourselves."

The reporter and officer glanced at each other, debating on how to go forward with this new state of motion. Carley felt uneasiness with this plan, on the other hand, Lilly relented knowing nothing she can do to stop the behemoth of a man.

"Are you sure that is a good idea?" Carley questioned. "Keeping this between ourselves might not be good. We have to be open to each other.

Lilly, took a deep breath, "What can we do? The man already made up his mind. At least we were able to convince him to stay with us for another month."

The journalist sighed, hopelessness was something she did not take so well, "I still think we should tell the others and not keep this a secret. Something like this should be told by the rest of the group, at least so they can be prepared too."

The airmen officer agreed, "Sierra, don't cut off the idea of letting them know sooner rather than later. "I don't want to deal with them getting too upset by this." She said firmly.

The Spartan viewed the girls before him, seeing them work together or at the very least agree on something was a nice commodity he enjoyed. It is better to work together than against. Which was very rare these days. "Very well, I shall consider your objections. If I were to go by your judgement, then all I ask is that I increase the training." He paused letting his words sink in, "Uninterrupted. Meaning no one questions nor stops me from carrying out my drills. No matter how harsh it may be."

While Lilly approved his terms, Carley spoke out. "Are you sure there are no other ways? Some might not want to accept this. You already know how Kenny deals with the training."

Li glanced at the reporter before he looked at the distance, "He'll pull through or he'll die. He knows the risks, if he cares about his son or his family then he'll need to acknowledge this necessity. Especially for his son."

After all this time, Carley still could not get used to Sierra's bluntness. The way he can easily express the grimness of many situations to that of talking about the weather. She continues to gawk at the man before she too shook it off. "Fine," was all she could say, coinciding to his plan.

As they stared at each other the early morn soon subsided, the breeze flew past them and the stopping of the morning birds chirping ended. A thought soon resided inside the reporter's mind. If the soldier is taking suggestion maybe, he could take the one that had been on her mind since the beginning. She opened her mouth nothing but empty words came out. She swallowed, trying to scour the courage within her to ask. "Sierra, if you are to leave us. There is a possibility that you might not come back-"

The Spartan quickly cut her thoughts, "Rest assured I will try my best to make it back, though I cannot make any promises."

Carley nodded but she still continued from where she left off, "That may be but I just wanted to ask..." As she tries to say what is on her mind the more she mumbled what she wanted.

Li gave her a raised his eyebrow not understanding her thought process, "What is it you want? If it is in my ability I will do my best to fulfil it." His voice tried to be sincere as possible, though still sound monotone.

However, it did have an effect on Carley hearing the soldier say those words, "I-I was wondering if you can take off your helmet." She said as quickly as she could, sounding more like a jumble of words and rather intangible.

Again the giant looked at her confusedly, not understanding what she said. On the other hand, Lilly understood her fine and she had slightly shocked expression and with it a blush as she too wanted to see what their saviour's appearance was.

A momentary hesitation was in the air as the miscommunication between the three took place. Once more Li asked what she said. "I do apologise, Carley, but can you repeat that?"

However, it was Lilly who answered, "She asked if you could take off your helmet, Sierra." Though her voice was also filled with blush and the feeling of a school girl resided in her gut. The behemoth viewed the women before him, as he did not know why they asked such a thing. Though, he did feel uncomfortable with such a request. He sighed, he felt like this was eventually going to be asked. He had hoped that they would mind the courtesy but it would seem he was in the wrong.

The girls stare, their heartbeat racing as what felt like an eternity. The ears full with nothing but the beat of their hearts, it felt like they were at a stadium waiting for the final goal to be made. Then they saw it, his arms moving slowly reaching for his helmet. As his hands were placed onto it, a click then a hiss could be heard. The slow movement made the anxiety worse, as the anticipation was at its breaking point.

Carley took a gasp of air, she could not believe what she saw before her. She had a vague image on her mind of what the super soldier would like, in her mind she had assumed him to be a knight in shining armour similar to those tales of old. Nevertheless, she had not expected this, Sierra's features were rough he had extensive scarring on his face. His eyes are much rounder and have a distinct curve to them. They're not deep-set, but more prominent. However, what stunned the reporter was numerous of it, but one colossal one. It stretched from his left eye down to his right cheek from the looks of it was heavy claw marks one akin to a bear or tiger dug at him; except that's impossible. Even his skin tone bare close to albinism, though its complexion was extremely pale. With the reveal of his face, Carley had more questions than answers.

Barring aside of scars, his eye colour captivated her. His eyes were like the very storm themselves and there was a small glow to it creating even more of a contrast. There was fire to it but the aura of danger can be felt as he continues to stare. A chill went down Carley's spine, the way he looked, as if he was constantly examining the ins and out of the world around him; the constant need to observe.

Lilly, on the other hand, could not help but be amazed. His feature was rough and hard but he was good-looking; a strong jawline and high cheekbones. Nevertheless, a man like Sierra should not be able to be in continuous service. She can identify certain scars like shrapnel from a grenade or one of that of a bullet but some she can even describe where they originated from. Did the United Nation Security Council not care for their soldiers? Do they put these men in a chronic state of disposal? Never caring if they make it out alive or not? She glanced at the large tissue scar that ran across from his face. What sort of monstrosity did he fight to earn him such a degree of damage? What else type of damage does this man carry? His complexion was that of a man never having an ounce of sunlight. These questions blasted through her mind as she examined what was before her. A sickening feeling arose when she saw the soldier's eyes. Sliver-like those of a blade, she had never seen an East Asian man with such colouration before. The way he stared at everything it made her nauseated. There was a coldness to those grey eyes of his. She could only imagine what Sierra was capable of.

As the women lost in their deep thoughts the Spartan-II felt something akin to uncomfortable, he had never shown his face expect to those outside his family. This vulnerability was unbeknownst to him, he wanted it to end. He gazed at the girls and they flinched as he looked straight at them. "Has your curiosity been sated?"

They slowly nodded their heads, with a silent sigh Li placed his helmet back on and with it a hiss of activation back into it. "I do hope that has closed the incessant need to see what my demeanour looked like." The girls glanced at each other both having the same question in their mind, however they did not know how to ask it as it regarded his overbearing scar. They, however, decided against asking it. Instead, they stood there in silence, his appearance burned into their minds.

Hope you guys enjoy this. I'll try to get another update as soon as possible! Please review, follow, and favourite! Till next time!