QUAKE

The Dusted Planet

The day was scorching hot, and the Arizona desert wasn't cutting anyone slack with rain or even a slight breeze. The little boy, no more than 4 feet high wore sandals and a blue T-shirt with a shark on it. His blonde hair helped him a little by shielding his face from the sun. All around him was desert and metal rubble from the war. He didn't know anything about the war, we was born during the end of it, and even then wasn't near it. His mother always told him never to leave the settlement or go out after dark, never approach someone you don't know, and hide if you do. He usually listened to his mother, but he was tired of being in that old metal shack, sometimes it got hotter in their than it did outside. Still, it was safe, he just didn't know it. William was without a doubt extremely naïve. Although the human race was practically extinct, and the Strogg had conquered the earth, he knew nothing of them, or other people.

His mother was only trying to protect him from the cold world that earth had become. However on this day, not only would William get his first glimpse of what had happened, but also get extremely lucky. The sand crunched with every slow casual step he took, not really sure where he was going. He wasn't lost, he knew all he had to do was turn around and walk back if he wanted to go home, but it was mainly curiosity that compelled him to move forward. He came across a metal shell of what use to be a car. It was far too corroded and destroyed to identify, but William didn't know what a car was. To him, the piece of junk was an incredible find. He examined what use to be the wheels and peered inside to see old shredded seat cushions and sand covering the dashboard. There was then a faint howling in the distance, he could figure out what it was. He saw something moving up the hill where he was. Quickly he dove beneath the car in fear.

The howling grew slightly louder, and soon William saw it, a woman, she looked younger than her mother but, she wore something strange. A dress that was pink and see through, made of metal and some other material he never saw before. Her hair was tube like, sort of the way Jonathan from the settlement had his hair. His mom said they were dreads of something. The strangest part of the girl however was the fact she was floating, and had something attached to her hand. The lady looked like she was looking for something. The creature reminded him of his mother and so he stepped out from what use to be a car, and was now a pile of scrap metal. He took a few steps towards her, she didn't seem to see him yet as she had her back to him. "How do you do that?"

He asked when suddenly the girl span around quickly and aimed its weapon at him. Walter just stood there confused but not really frightened. It was a Strogg, an "Iron Maiden" as they were referred as. William, completely oblivious to the threat she posed stood there, as if awaiting a response. It said nothing…

Now when is comes to Strogg one thing can be certain, they are evil, and merciless, half machine, half organic. To this day no one knows what it was that saved this child. Perhaps it was an error in the coding of this particular Strogg, or perhaps it found the human entertaining as it showed no fear. The only thing more bizarre and mysterious than the way a Strogg works, is the way the human mind functions. It has the capability of creating, and destroying, delivering hate, and mercy. Many say the Strogg's technology can prevent the human mind from maintaining even the slightest bit of emotion and stability. However on this day, the Strogg's weapon clicked back and cooled down, lowering itself as it smirked. It then said something, in another language. William shook his head to clarify that he didn't understand. The Iron Maiden cleared its throat and leaned close to his face. "You child, should go home…"

William sighed, "Yea, my mom keeps telling me I should stay, but it gets so boring….. Whats your name?" he asked with a smile.

The Strogg leaned back away from his face and its spinal column snapped a bit with the sound metal against metal. "Xenphious, what about yours human?"

William ignored that last comment on the word "human" as he wasn't sure what she meant. "William Sterling… but my mom calls me Will."

The Iron maiden simply nodded, she was about to say something but she heard suddenly heard a sharp sound in her ear, it was the Strogg headquarters telling everyone to return from their patrol and return and humans to the stroggification plant. She then turned her head back at the boy, "I have to go William. You need to go back home, its dangerous… ill uh… ill see you tomorrow."

William nodded and waved to her as she sort of "hovered" away. He then headed back home, not telling his mother he left, or who he met in fear of getting in trouble…