I do not own the Resistance: Fall of Man franchise. For those with intentions of stealing: beware. You will be crushed under the Titan's melee attack, causing instant death. You have been warned.

Rating: M for mature. Mature themes will emerge later on in the story. ( Currently the rating has been knocked down to T.)

Notes: Ha! Bet you all thought I was dead, didn't you? Well, the joke's on you! Actually, just joking. There are a few things I want to explain. Beware: somewhat lengthy author's note ahead. ;-;

I am sorry it took me forever to update this story. I initially started Dominance as an experiment, of sorts. I wanted to write with both quality and quality. Long chapters with lots of sustenance. But the more I look back, the more I see a lot of. . . Quantity. So, I will be revamping previous chapters. There will be some scene changes, some different events happening in the past - don't worry. I'm not going to quit it, but there are some major plot points that need some solid foundations at the beginning of the story. And just, frankly, I kind of don't like how I wrote it. Expect big "revamping signs" out and about for a while!

A second point: there will be some major changes coming up within a chapter. The biggest one being that this story will no longer be told in 1st-person. This was one of the experiments that kept me going for a bit. But the more I thought about it, the more I continued to write in 1st-person, I realized that it was not for me. In honor of Dominance, however, I will be keeping the first few chapters the same.

Lastly, I lost all of the chapter information pertaining to Dominance. Incredibly depressing, I know, but I still remember a vast majority of the plot. Which will now be condensed, because I realize I don't need to write five chapters to explain a single thing. Kind of a side-point to this point, but I'd like to say that I do not have the newest Resistance game. In fact, my damn PS3 went and broke on me. So even if I had a way to buy it, I wouldn't be able to play it!

Don't worry, I'll be working on this, though.

Also, I won't be retconning anything to make it tie into the last Resistance game. I still know nothing of it's plot (please don't spoil it!), and if my story doesn't match up with its story in some way, I guess I'll have to go even more AU for the last game to make a sequel.

Oh, yes. There will be a sequel to this fiction. That, I planned on the day I made it.

Also, here's another note: this chapter is super long. Kind of as an apology for being away for so long, and also because I was writing and writing and I just couldn't stop! And. . . I've always prided myself in never being able to cry during an incredibly sad movie, or a tear-jerker of a book. But this chapter. . . For some ungodly reason, made my eyes get misty. And I wasn't even trying for that angle. So I'll throw that in as a warning!

But now, I present to you, the maybe-last chapter of 1st-person part of the story! From there, it will be moving onto 3rd person. Without further adieu, here is the next chapter!

It's two thirty a.m.
I slowly come awake.
I know somethings not right.
I walk slowly to the door, and feel the heat through the walls; smell the burning outside...

And all I can see are these flames around me.
And all I can think is I'm here alone.
Please find me and save me...

Even if the world ignites into flames you'll be right here by my side.
And as it burns away, you smile at me and say that, "Not even death could take me away from you..."

World In Flames - In This Moment

Awareness came to be slowly, and it took a second for me to register that I was still alive.

My mind came back first, finally rising from the depths of a drug-induced sleep. Feeling came in close second, and hearing followed shortly afterward. A groan left my mouth as I opened my eyes and squinted at the bright light coming from the ceiling. Trying to get my eyes to adjust, I became aware of the distinct sound of soft breathing next to me - it was enough to rouse my curiosity. I turned my head to the side, trying to see the person to my right. Who's next to me? I don't. . . I don't remember how I got here. . . Where is here, anyway?

God, I hated drugs. Especially sedatives. When you came out of it, you were groggy and disoriented for hours - sometimes even a day or two - afterward.

Wincing through the bright lights, my eyes finally managed to adjust, and I managed it. I was awake.

My heart skipped a beat when I noticed a very familiar face.


He was laying over the bed, head resting in his arms, pressed up against her side. I smiled to myself, thinking, of course he would try to cuddle up to my side, the creep.I had been on my back, and I was momentarily amazed I hadn't woken up my friend by shifting around. Regardless, it was hard to crane my neck at such a weird angle to look at Trevor. Placing my palms on the mattress of the thin cot I was on, I pushed myself into a sitting position - and promptly found myself toppling over the side of the bed. Or trying to. I'd managed to catch myself before I fell off.

I tried to right myself, and noticed my left arm wasn't moving. At all. It just laid there, on my side, useless and limp.

My left arm hadn't moved. Why hadn't it moved?

My gaze traveled to the cot I was laying on. Thin, very thin, and green. The floor it was resting on was trampled-down grass. . . Not tile. Using my right arm, I forced myself into a sitting position, and took stock of the room I was in. I discovered it wasn't a room at all. It was a tent, mottled green canvas stretching up to form a small, but navigable space.

"Cyra?" A sleepy voice asked, and I turned back to Trevor.

He had just woken up, expression heavy with sleep. A look of utter relief was on his face - but it quickly morphed to concern and worry upon seeing my face.

"Cyra? What's wrong? Are you hurting anywhere? Is it your arm?"

My mouth moved, trying to form words, ask questions. . . But my throat was locked up tight. And it was then the memories began to surface. Trevor and I, the military, that horrible pain - like somebody had run my shoulder through with a knife. God, my arm had hurt so much - realization dawned on me as that thought struck. I sat there, a small ball of dread forming in my stomach, and I turned to my left arm.

I touched it, fingertips ghosting over the crook of my elbow, the back of my knuckles, my hand. . . But I couldn't feel it. I tried to make a fist, to wiggle my fingers - nothing. It just remained there, lame.

Tears burned in my eyes, and instantly Trevor's hand came down to cover my own.

"Cyra, it's okay. You don't have to cry now, it's going to be okay. . ."

I shook my head, blinking furiously to keep the tears from falling, and turned to Travis again.

"Travis, we have to go. Nana, Mama, everybody - they're still there. We've got to get back to them." I said, my voice sounding strained and hoarse. I started to move, attempting to get off the flimsy cot, but Travis locked his hands over my shoulders and looked at me, a horrible, dreadful look in his eyes.

I knew that look. I'd seen doctors give it to families waiting anxiously outside of the ER. I'm sorry, they'd say quietly, gently, but so-and-so didn't make it. . . Is there somebody you can call? We have a grief counselor available. . . That look. It was universal. Travis had it now, and at that second, I knew I didn't want to hear anything he'd have to say to me. I wanted to be childish, slap my hands over my ears and sing at the top of my lungs.

"Cyra. . ." Trevor said slowly, ignoring my thoughts, "We can't. There's. . . There's nobody to go back to. They're all d-"

"No!" I snapped, anger and dread coiling in my gut to form something darker, "Don't you dare say that. Don't. You. Dare."

I'd just go without him. He may not have hope, but I did. The military had taken us out of South Hill, and we were probably in the woods somewhere, a distance away from the city. If I could lay my hands on a map, I'd be golden. I could find a way back home, back to Mama-

He shook me. Grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him.

"Cyra," Trevor said, "They're dead. Everybody. They. Are. All. Dead."

"No," I shot back, "It's not true, you know. . . it's. . ."

My heart wrenched as I saw Trevor's face drop, and his strength fled him. Weakly he released my shoulders, and slumped back down into the small chair he'd been sitting in. Tears crawled down his cheeks, and he didn't bother trying to stop them. I sat there, watching him, everything in my world shrinking down to just this one moment. Trevor sat there, his eyes haunted and filled with tears. He was. . . He was honestly crying. Not once in our months together had I witnessed him crying. Hell, I'd watched him fall out of a tree when we were younger and break his arm.

Even with the bulge of a broken arm distorting his skin, he hadn't cried.

Trevor pulled in a shaky breath, his hands raking through his hair.

"All of them. . . They're all. . ." He broke off, gritting his teeth and wrenching his eyes shut.

It. . . It was true.

The dark ball inside of me snapped, and I found myself wrapping my good arm around him, holding him as tightly as I could as I started to cry. We both started to sob, eyes easily going red as we clung to each other and we cried.

And for the first time in my life, I realized how deep my selfishness had run. All of those months, I had been clinging to the faint notion that my mother and grandmother were alive. Even though the mall had been reduced to rubble, I had held the idea close to my heart, hoping maybe, if I just kept digging through the debris of the mall, inch by inch, i would find Nana still alive and well.

I had given no thought to Trevor's family, or his wants. My friend had a heart made out of gold, and god, in that moment, I knew my friend was worth fifteen of me. He was the best person I knew.

So we sat there, and we cried in the privacy of a military tent.

Trevor was the last person I had to live for in my life, because. . .

Because everybody else. . .

They were dead.

"We're in a survivor's camp," Trevor explained to me as we walked, "Apparently it was a small detachment of soldiers that had discovered us. Remember them? Well, they were planning on infiltrating the area - recon work, I guess - and they just happened to run into us."

It had been roughly two or three days since I'd been cleared from the field doctors. During those days, Trevor and I had been wrapped in our own desolation, so we hadn't done much more than lay together on the same cot, holding each other close. We drew comfort from the fact that we still had each other. We'll make it through this, Trevor had whispered, I know we will. . . We have to.

Two days ago, we slowly began to regain some of our will back. We weren't happy by any means, but the worst of the emotions had been splayed out. There wasn't a whole lot else we could do for our relatives.

I took in our surroundings slowly, logging it all in my head. Tents had been erected in an orderly fashion, under the cover of the trees. I had been correct in my first assumption, when I had woken up - we were in a forest. It fringed the outside of Mt. Rainier, and since the woods were thick, it kept us camouflaged from most of the enemy aircraft.

Or so I'd been told. The most part made me uneasy.

We walked along the perimeter of the camp, following a chain-link fence that helped mark the boundaries. A couple days ago, it wouldn't have been possible. We had been kept under close watch by one of the camp's only doctors. He had been worried that Trevor and I were going to commit suicide or something. I'd found out later that he was also the same doctor that had worked on my arm and body.

He'd come into my tent, and had delivered the news as calmly and gently as he could. The Auger round had been a lucky shot that had somehow managed to get past the energy shield. The soldier who'd been escorting me had taken me down to the ground to protect me from oncoming fire, but the Auger shot had passed through my shoulder - I'd stopped the shot. I had actually kept the soldier from getting killed, for if the bolt had passed through my shoulder, it would have gone through his throat.

In payment, it had permanently fucked up my left arm. They had given me a sling to wear, so I didn't hurt my arm and not know about. It's easy to impale something you can't feel on a dirty object, have it get infected, and then give you all kinds of diseases.

"You could amputate," The doctor had informed me, "But we lack the necessary facilities for a delicate amputation here. . . Or you could wait and see if your nerves will attempt to repair. There's no guarantee - you won't ever get back full use of your arm - but it's worth a shot."

I hadn't decided what I wanted to do yet. I could either be Cyra, the one-armed wonder, or I could hope and pray and do physical therapy on myself, and hope the nerves started working again. Without proper medical equipment, it was impossible for the doctors to actually tell me the condition of my arm. But past experience between Auger rounds and soldiers had proven that the nerves never really functioned again.

But there hadbeen cases. . .

"Cyra?" Trevor asked, and I realized I had been slowing down, so lost in my thoughts I'd been.

"I'm okay," I told him, "Just thinking, that's all. You were saying?" I prompted, hoping Trevor's talking would help drown out the thoughts swirling in my brain.

"Yeah. I was telling you that we'll be here for a while. Until the military knows of a safer place for the camp. There's about a thousand people here, give or take - they don't put too many in one camp. Although I heard there's another camp about ten miles away from us."

I nodded my head absently, not really processing the information. We picked our way over the uneven forest floor, and we surveyed the layout of the survivor's camp. I tried to let my mind slip into its old groove. Assess the situation. Analyze what's around you. Take action as needed.

Right now I had to worry about Trevor and I. We just had to survive - it's all we needed to concern ourselves with. If the soldiers protecting the camp were able to hold us through the war, we'd be alright.

After the war. . . I didn't know.

We were both underage. Once the government got into order, they'd probably try to ship us off to some orphanage or something equally ridiculous.

Trevor guided me into the mess hall, were people - other survivors and a soldier here and there - milled about aimlessly. Most of them wore gaunt faces, with hollowed and terrified eyes, a vast majority of them looking to start screaming and running at any second. I did my best to ignore them, not wanting to look into the eyes of people who'd also faced sorrow like we had. It just made the situation far too. . . Depressing. Trevor secured a packet of rations for the both of us, and away we left again, looking for a suitable place to eat.

We found it, then, after another minute or two of searching. It was a tree, with roots sticking up out of the ground, and a scarred trunk. We meandered over to it, and took a seat in the gaps of the dirt the roots provided. Trevor sat on another perch the roots made, and we both cracked open our rations packs and started trying to eat. We didn't like being around other survivors - especially families. We just wanted to be by ourselves, away from the people who were likely to turn into rabid wolves and start snapping at everybody when pressed too hard. We had been relying on just each other for the past few months, and it had worked just fine.

Don't fix what isn't broken.

"I learned what they are." Travis piped up.

I dropped the cracker I had been unsuccessfully trying to nibble on for the past few minutes.

"The monsters, you mean?" I asked, picking up the cracker and dipping it in something that resembled jelly. It snapped in half, so I dropped the pieces and mixed them up. Huh. I'd just made a smiley face.

"Yeah," He continued, "Turns out, we weren't too far off track."

He told me of the monsters, then. Of their weaponry, of their armor, and their machines. He told me their true name - Chimera. It fit them. Especially when I found out what, exactly, the Chimera were made out of.

And he was right. Despite our paranoid whispers in the dark, about us being turned into secret government experiments that led to our inevitable transformation to Chimera. . . We actually weren't too far off the beaten path.

For the next week, the tree became our unofficial hangout. After we were checked out by the doctors - who always found no change in my arm - we'd cut ourselves loose and wander over to the scarred trunk and knotted roots. It offered us solace, and actually helped us recall memories of a time where there wasn't a war or Chimera. When we were young, and used to run around the forest and play all kinds of games. . .

And sometimes, on a good day, we would be able to smile and laugh as we remembered the good times.

The sounds of footsteps drew closer, and then eased away. The tree was situated somewhat close to the perimeter, and every now and then we would hear a passing patrol, but their noise faded quickly, and we'd always be left to our silence again. Sometimes we'd talk about what we'd do when we got out of the survivor's camp - but that conversation would always lapse into silence. Especially when the concept of "who's home should we go to?" was brought up.

My family was nonexistent. Mama had been married before I was born, but she'd gotten divorced. I had no aunts or uncles - just Nana. Mama had always told me that it was alright our family wasn't too big. It just meant we loved each other all the more. So now they were gone, and I was left with Trevor.

Trevor, on the other hand, had a sprawling family. A mother, a father, aunts, uncles, cousins - it went on. I'd attended one of his family reunions once. . . At least seventy people had shown up, and everybody had appeared to be pretty genial to one another.

The odds were good for Trevor. Even if his immediate family were gone - like mine was - he had pretty good chances of at least some of his extended family surviving.

But we preferred not to dwell on that. Most of the time we just sat there, thinking out loud, or exchanging opinions with one commented on recent events in the war against the Chimera, or the noticeably startling drop in soldiers that were suddenly disappearing from the camp. Whenever Trevor or I asked a passing soldier - or a doctor - we got a tight-lipped expression, and a simple:

"They are needed elsewhere."

Nothing else would be said on the matter, although Trevor and I suspected we knew what it meant: try as hard as they might, the Americans were slowly beginning to succumb to the Chimeran threat.

We might have been a superpower, with an unstoppable navy, army, and aerial force, but matched up to aliens with otherworldly technology, and we were falling on our knees. I absently began to play with the pine on the grass, chewing the inside of my cheek as I did so.

Trevor and I didn't know what we'd do with ourselves once this war was over. Where would we go? Who would stay with us? We were barely able to work - and forget about me being in school, no less. I was terrified of crowds, of being near groups larger than five or six people. It made Trevor itchy, too, and always we would withdraw to the fringes of the camp, back to the tree.

Breathing in deeply, I let loose a shaking sigh, a wry smile suddenly tugging up the corners of my mouth.

"I'm glad. . . That you're still here," I finally said, catching Trevor's attention, "I don't. . . Nobody else left, you know?" I said, my throat getting tight.

Trevor grimaced, as though my words physically pained him.

"It's okay," He murmured weakly in return, "We'll get out of this alright. I'm glad you're here, too."

That seemed to be our magic mantra. A promise we voiced, every time, when we said the words aloud. We'll be alright. We'll get out of this okay.

And because it was Trevor. . . I believed it.

We lapsed into silence again, and I rested my head back against the tree as I let my thoughts leave me. After a week, I was tired of thinking. It would be so, so nice to just let go. . .

That was when we heard it.


All around us. The camp had fallen deathly silent, as had the surrounding forest. Sitting up, I opened my mouth to speak, to ask if he was hearing what I was hearing, but Trevor shook his head sharply. Closing my mouth, we both sat there for precious moments as we tried to figure out what had caused everything to become so, so quiet. I got to my feet, unable to contain the jitters running through me. Trevor followed suit, looking worried.

I opened my mouth again, about to ask him a question, but the hairs on the back of my neck prickled. Gunshots started to chatter, startling close to the camp. Trevor was at my side in an instant, hand at my elbow. Panic flared through me, but only for a moment, and we exchanged looks. The Chimera were at the camp; we didn't need to be told this piece of information by any soldier or survivor.

Still, I couldn't help the instinctive question that popped out of my mouth.

"What's going on?" I asked breathlessly, a nervous knot building in my throat.

"They found us." Trevor guessed tersely, and we stood there as precious seconds ticked by.

"What are we going to do? We don't even know where they're attacking from." As the words left my mouth, more and more assault rifles came to life, followed by the close phump phump of the Chimeran weaponry.

They were drawing closer.

Trevor yanked my arm, guiding me towards the camp, and I dug my feet in and shook my head vehemently.

"No! No! There's a thousand people in there, Trevor. I'll bet you at least nine hundred of them are panicking and will trample over us if we wander anywhere close to them."

He stopped, dead in his tracks. He grit his teeth, and I knew what he was thinking. The camp was the only places with supplies, and we needed them before we made a break for it. But I had been correct - already I could hear panicked screams coming from the camp, as people ran back and forth, terrified.

"What the fuck else are we supposed to do?" He snapped. I tugged back on his arm.

"Let's find a weak spot in the fence. I can't climb over. . ."

"Let's go." He said, grabbing my hand.

We started running along the edge of the fence, searching for any weak spots, anywhere where there was a gap or a hole in the dirt underneath the metal. We skirted the outside of the camp, knowing it would be suicide to even wander into it. A mob of terrified people was nothing we could handle on our own. But the camp was new, and had been erected with a perimeter in mind.

There wasn't any gap in the chain-link fencing, but we could make our own hole. Trevor jerked to a halt, dropping to his knees and digging at the soil with his fingers. I helped where I could, using my good hand to scoop what dirt I could out of the way - and maybe that's why I saw it. A bright yellow bolt, headed right at Trevor's head. Shrieking his name, I tugged on the back of his shirt, pulling him on top of me.

The bolt passed in the space where his head used to be.

"Fuck, fuck, fuck!" Trevor snarled, grabbing at my elbow and yanking me up to my feet.

More Auger rounds, and my skin crawled at the thought of any of the energy bolts hitting me. We ran back the way we'd come, hoping against hope that the Chimera hadn't flanked the damn camp. Trevor jerked us in the direction of the camp, and I swallowed back my knee-jerk reaction to shout, "no!"

What we came to was a scene of chaos. Wounded soldiers were being ferreted to the medical tents, and people were running to and fro, trying to find loved ones and panicking. It was like the first day, back at the mall, all those days ago. An instinctive shudder passed through my spine, but it quickly dissipated as Trevor yanked the two of us close to one of the jeeps the army had parked.

We crouched there, beside the vehicle, having no idea where to go or what was safe. We needed a plan - and we needed one fast.

"What the hell are we going to do?" I shouted, trying to be heard over the screams and chatter of gunfire.

"I don't know! I don't know!" Trevor shouted back desperately.

Orange shots started strafing into the camp, mercilessly plowing into the survivors who wandered into the crossfire. I groaned as memories of the mall rose up, and I watched helplessly as the survivors fell down in sprays of blood, clearly dead. I couldn't do anything. I needed both arms to be a nurse, and I couldn't even hold a rifle with one arm. God, all we could do was just sit there-

Explosions rocked the ground, throwing up clods of dirt and hazes of black smoke. Grenades, mortars - I had no idea what they were, but it was loud enough to make me cry out in surprise, strong enough to send a vibration to the dirt under me. We sat there, dazed and disoriented.

"We can't stay here!" Trevor yelled, "We've got to get out of the camp!"


He pulled me up to my feet, tugging me back into the fray. I swallowed reflexively as another orange shot streaked past my foot, nearly hitting it. I tripped over something soft, losing my grip on Trevor's hand and falling in the dirt. Looking at my foot, I found a burned hand in the dirt. A body, my brain supplied, you just tripped over a body.

"Get up get up get up!" Trevor was yelling, hoisting me back to my feet by the back of my shirt. I staggered back into pace behind him, clutching his hand so hard in my own, I was afraid I was going to break the bones there.

That was when another orange bullet hit Trevor in the leg. He collapsed with a cry of agony, and instantly I was on my knees beside him. He was clutching at his knee, curled up into a semi-fetal position and his teeth were grit so hard, I swore I could hear them over the gunfire.

"It's okay!" I said, "I'll go find a medkit - don't move, Trevor! I'll be right back!"

I was on my feet before he could stop me. I heard him call out my name, but I ran back to the medical tents, jumping over the fallen bodies of the dead, adrenaline giving me speed, desperation giving me purpose. Trevor would bleed out. He would get infection - fuck. I'd been hit by their bombs, by an Auger shot, and my body was fucked up. Trevor didn't need that - didn't deserve it.

I skidded to a halt, and found a medkit just laying there. Right there, in front of the medical tent, like it was meant for me. I was in front of it in two seconds flat, had it open in another three. Yes. It was full, it was ready to go and it had everything I needed. Buckling it back up, I held it close to my chest as I made a beeline for Trevor.

An orange bolt scraped the side of my calf painfully, but I kept running, ignoring the drip of blood down my leg. Just a scratch. Just get to Trevor, you've lived through worse.

I made it back to Trevor in record time, falling to my knees beside him ungracefully, and snapped open the medical kit. Scissors. I had to cut away his pants. I could access the wound that way. Snatching them up, I sliced through the fabric of his pant leg with ease. The wound was clean - he was lucky. A through - and through. It hadn't hit bone - if it had, the bolt and the bullet would still be lodged inside of his leg.

"Don't worry, Trevor. It's an easy fix, I swear."

I'd never patched bullet wounds by myself before. But I'd seen it enough times, I knew the basics - I realized, then, as I was dousing Trevor's leg with alcohol. . . That my friend wasn't moving.

"Trevor? Trevor!" I yelled, shaking him to get his attention. He flopped about uselessly in my grip, entire body relaxed and unmoving.

Shock. Goddamnit it, he went into shock.

I swore, and yanked him so he was laying on his back. His eyes were closed, and his head lolled to the side. My fingers went to his neck, to check for a pulse. . . To find there wasn't one. I sat there, shock pouring through me as I stared at Trevor. He was. . . Trevor was. . . No. No, no, no no nonononono NO.

"Trevor? Goddamn it, Trevor, wake up! Wake up!" It was hard, but I began CPR, throwing my entire body onto his chest to make up for lack of my other arm. I heard the battle around me fading in noise, heard the Chimeran weaponry grow more distant as they retreated. But I never stopped, did compressions. Stopped, breathed in air. More compressions. More, more. . .

And then. . .

It was silent.

It stopped me. My hand laid on his chest, and I stared at my friend's face, feeling my heart racing in my chest, the blood thundering through my ears. I sat back on my feet, my hand numbly falling to my side.

This is payback for being a bitch. For being an evil person.I said, eerily calm.

I smiled at the thought. Yeah, god would be enough of a bastard to do that to me. Take the last person on the planet that cared about me, murder him while I was getting supplies to save his life-

Trevor was dead. The fact didn't slap me in the face. No, it was like my brain was telling me the sky was blue. My friend was dead in the dirt before me, his heart stopped, his brain turned off. Probably an Auger shot. They go through walls, you know.

Yeah. . . I could see discoloration on his skin appearing, blackened patches from where it had entered his skull. Weird. That didn't happen to my arm - maybe it was because it had passed through his skull, breaking it, internal bleeding. I didn't know. I stared at Trevor-no, I thought, Trevor's dead. That's his body. A body.

Still. It had been Trevor's body. That easy smile stayed on my face, and I leaned over and dragged him into my lap, where I held him with my arm, touching his forehead with my own and just. . . Holding him there.

Around me, the camp stirred to life, as what was left of the soldiers and survivors crawled out of the woodwork. The bodies of the dead lay strewn on the ground, a vast majority of them being the survivors. I was oblivious to it, to all of it. I held Trevor's limp body in my own, and I started to hum.

The camp began to take stock of who was dead and who was alive, attempting to reestablish some semblance of order. A doctor popped out of the medical tent, his gloves coated in the blood of soldiers and fallen warriors. He breathed heavily, scanning the ground and trying to suppress the lance of pain that stabbed through his heart. His gaze traveled to a girl, hunched over a body. He recognized her as the girl he'd been treating, the one with the dead arm.

Her friend died.He realized, and even though he had no time to worry over her, he did. They'd both been hanging in by a single thread. With no family to go back to, both were orphans of the Chimera war. He frowned, realizing that he'd been right. She'd - they'd - both been a great suicide risk when they had entered the camp. And now. . . Now it was all but certain she would wither away and die.

A high-pitched whistling interrupted his thoughts, and he turned his gaze skyward, fearing another mortal shell - but no.

A strangled scream, a warning, tried to get past his throat. But the sleek metal hit the dirt right in front of him, and he was knocked backwards by the force of the impact. As if fate herself were present that day, the doctor hit his head against a medical supply crate, and he was rendered unconscious. Maybe it was for the best. For the sleek metal of the triangular object began to part, revealing gauzy bags filled with insects.

The bags ripped, and the horde of insects swarmed through the camp, ignoring the dead and making a beeline for the living.

I didn't know any of this.

I simply sat there, even as people ran by me, screaming for mercy, for god not to do this, please, please don't do this.

I hummed. I held Trevor and rocked him back and forth, gently, murmuring words against his head.

"It'll be okay, Trevor. You'll see. We'll make it out of this alright."

The sounds of a horde of many-legged things drew closer, but I simply remained where I was, quite content.

"I'm glad you're here, Trevor. For being here with me."

I smiled, even when legs crawled over my body, hot bugs touching my skin. I hummed, even as the sounds of their wings in flight droned in the air around me. I didn't fight it. Not even when they found their way into my mouth.

Even as they exploded inside of me, releasing searing hot fluids into my intestines, I hummed, my eyes slowly closing, clutching Trevor's body close to mine. And when the darkness came, I smiled. I told you, Trevor. . . Everything will be alright. It's going to be okay.