There it was. Jacinto, the last of the human strongholds against the Locusts race, had sunk. Marcus looked out into the horizon seeing waves upon waves of crushing water fill the massive crater that Jacinto had fallen into. They had done it. Before the Locust Queen could set her underground plans into action, they had beaten her to the punch. Even though, there was a victory to be celebrated, Marcus felt that pinch in his gut, the worry that had increased for a comrade he believed did not evacuate in time. He reached for his earpiece and activated it.
"Control… Anya… are you there?" he repeated. He had been trying for the last ten minutes to reach her, but there was no answer. He shook his head in disbelief. After all they've gone through… the swarms of locusts, the countless battles against the threats to their species, the constant radio support he and his team received from control, it was hard to imagine her voice being silenced. She had never physically been in battle, but it was safe enough to say that she saved his life more than a few times. Whenever he needed assistance, she was there.
Before he knew it, he had grown accustomed to the different tones of her voice. Sometimes, she would throw out a joke to break any tension that lingered between the team or she would have small conversations, just between her and Marcus. He found later, that they had much in common. When he wasn't busy fending off Wretches and Reavers, he realized that they liked the same junk food. Snickers with almonds. There were times when he could honestly hear her smile when she spoke. He figured that was natural when having nothing but verbal communication with someone else. When they lost men, he could hear the grief in her voice. But she fought back, not with the weapons that COGs carried, but with her technological expertise. Anya knew that she couldn't afford to let her emotions get the best of her when so many others were relying on her.
War tended to make the human heart cold; it was an inevitable transformation. That wasn't to say he had a heartless team. Cole and his crazy ass shoot 'em up and go in guns blazin' mentality was a welcome addition to the team when things were looking grim. Even Baird and his cocky attitude livened things up. Everyone had to deal with war in their own ways. And Dom… Dom had truly felt the meaning of loss. Marcus had never seen Dom snap, but every man had their breaking point. Dom's was Maria. Marcus was worried that Dom would fall apart shortly after he had given Maria her freedom, but it had the exact opposite affect on him. Dom was more fueled and more intent on taking down every single locust they came across.
Marcus felt a burning desire to jump out of the Raven and unload all of his magazines into the Locust corpses that were now breaking the water surface. It was because of them, all of them, that mankind had suffered so much. Marcus had no family, at least he didn't think his father was still around. He had his team; he stole a glance once more to Dom and Baird. Crazy sons of bitches, but he couldn't have been assigned a better team.
He saw countless Ravens flying off, evacuating the civilians of Jacinto. There had to be a strong possibility that she was on one of them. He spoke into his earpiece again. "Anya, if you're there, answer me," he said. He felt his chest burn in anger when he received no response. He couldn't place his finger on the feeling, but she was more than just a teammate to him. He for sure as hell wasn't in love with her, but maybe that's only because the war wouldn't allow him to think of anything but taking down the enemy. When the COGs would settle down, regroup and continue on ridding their planet of the rest of the locust infestation, he wasn't looking forward to hearing someone else's voice in his ear. He reached up again, to speak into his earpiece, but he decided against it at the last moment. She was most likely gone.
He and Dom had been busy fending off the recent locust assault on the command center, so his reunion with her had been cut short. They had a few more transmissions afterwards, but then control had gone silent. He ripped the earpiece from his headset and threw it down by his feet. "Shit…" he muttered.
Dom had placed a hand on his shoulder, giving him a small shake. "Marcus," he said. When Marcus caught his gaze, he realized Dom was looking out, slightly in front of them. There was another Raven flying close in their proximity. Marcus leaned out slightly, getting a better view of the passengers of the neighboring Raven. He saw Cole waving to him, and a small amount of pressure was lifted from his soldiers. Cole was a good man, a good soldier. "I'm surprised that thing could lift your heavy ass!" Marcus shouted with a small smile.
Cole flexed his large muscles, proudly displaying before anyone who would look. "As if you could get rid of the Cole Train, baby!" he yelled back. "I got a surprise for you!" Cole stepped to the side, gesturing for the petite figure beside him to come into Marcus' view.
Marcus felt all the tension in his body leave him when he saw Anya wave at him. She didn't say anything; she only gave him a warm smile. Her uniform was covered in bloody smears and her face was covered in dirt, but she seemed unharmed. Even her hair, which was normally pulled back, was freed, flying wildly. But seeing her like that, alive, well, and looking at him the way she was, it was all worth while. He felt Dom smack his shoulder in a teasing manner, breaking into his thoughts. "I'll see you on the ground!" he shouted to Anya.
She tucked some of her loose hair behind her ear and smiled again. She nodded and took her seat next to Cole once more.
He took his own seat, across from Baird and Dom. "Lemme tell you man… don't wait. You never know what's going to happen," Dom said in a serious tone. "You find yourself a nice woman, you hold onto her for everything your worth, you hear me."
Baird looked to Dom then Marcus, then back to Dom. "Whoa, wait… what? Marcus has a chick? Who? Who?" he asked Dom.
Marcus tuned out everything else Baird was pestering Dom about. His partner's words were true. He glanced back to the Raven that carried Anya and Cole to safety. He couldn't admit it yet, though he knew that man's hope was in the COGs, his own ray of hope was in the Raven they now followed. Tomorrow would bring a brighter future to mankind, much like she had brightened his.