I'm quite happy with this one, though I'm a little unsure as to whether I managed to keep Carmine in character, so I'd appreciate any feedback in that sense as well as any other comments for improvement or any mistakes you may find.
Also on another note, I've included the 'digestive teeth' in this as I didn't think that Carmine could have fallen that far into the worm without being crushed by the teeth as he fell.
Hope you like it anyway
Copyrights: All characters belong to Gears of War and Epic Game studios
The apparently solid ground trembled and shuddered, jostling the COG soldier that lay sprawled out across its surface. Benjamin Carmine opened his eyes slowly and felt nauseous as his vision swam, spinning his surroundings as if he was sitting on a merry-go-round. He groaned loudly and shut his eyes tight and he re-opened them slowly in an attempt to focus on his surroundings, he was successful and he managed to make out the ceiling which he realised with a degree of horror was pulsating and moving. Carmine decided it would be a good idea to try and get up and have a better look at things; surely the ceiling wasn't moving that would just be ridiculous. Shifting his weight slowly he managed to sit up and discovered upon doing so a number of aches and pains on his body, one being a dull ache in the back of his skull as if he had hit his head somewhere, the other was a sharp catching pain that seared in his chest each time he breathed. Benjamin sat still for a few moments trying to remember what had happened and where he had gotten these injuries, taking a look at his chest plate he noticed a large dent and instantly his memory flooded back to the foregrounds of his mind.
He had been with Delta on the roof of a building in the now sunken Ilema city; he was helping with defending the Landing Zone for the Raven so that they could get out of the sink hole. When the Raven landed he heard Sergeant Fenix call for everyone to get in, but Benjamin had been preoccupied with more locust, trying to give cover fire so that his squad could get to safety. Carmine felt the dip in his armour with his finger, he had taken a hit from a hammer burst rifle, it hadn't penetrated the heavy armour but it had sent him reeling backwards towards the Raven. He took a couple of experimental deep breaths and winced as with each inhale a sharp pain announced itself, leaning forward slightly in a futile attempt to ease his own discomfort, Carmine decided he probably had quite a bit of bruising from the impact of the shot. Twisting where he sat he managed to prop himself onto his knees though it was an action he did slowly, the environment around him seemed to still be bobbing around of its own accord.
For a little while Benjamin just knelt in the same place breathing slowly and carefully, eventually he decided now was a good time to take a look around, the rest of his squad didn't seem to be anywhere in sight and for a second he wondered why as if it made no sense, how had he ended up in a place like this? Finally he managed to get to his feet though he stumbled on the first attempt, but managed to gain some balance on the second and he thanked his heavy boots for their added stability. He looked around him, this time taking a good look at what surrounded him, the walls he realised looked fleshy and pink with parts of it that rippled and moved, the floor was sticky and almost soft under his boots, what place was this? Then as if he had been punched in the face he remembered with a sudden jolt that he had toppled into the helicopter thinking himself safe moments before he slipped back out again, unable to grab a handhold and fell...he fell inside the worm.
"I'm in the Worm!" he yelled aloud with horror as he finally realised where he was, he must have hit his head during the fall knocking himself out to wake up now.
He couldn't believe it and his brain just couldn't seem to register as he was gripped with another bout of nausea, probably through a combination of shock, pain and his concussion; urgently he yanked off his helmet and doubled over throwing up on the ground in front of him, choking slightly as the bruises on his torso burned in protest forcing him to catch his breath. Finally his stomach was empty and he stood up slowly, chest heaving painfully from the lack of air and the pain triggered by the reflex of his diaphragm, Benjamin wiped his mouth slowly with the back of his hand and replaced his helmet, waiting a second for his eyes to adjust to the blue hues of the lenses.
Benjamin swayed a little where he stood while he racked his brains to figure out what he was going to do, first of all he decided he would try and get into contact with Delta. Raising a hand to the side of his helmet, he pushed a finger to the receiver and started speaking.
"Sergeant Fenix? This is Benjamin Carmine...are you there? Is anyone there?" Carmine rasped a breath as he sighed but it caught in his throat as his chest spiked with pain.
"This is Benjamin Carmine is anyone there?"
He decided at that point to change tact
"Control...this is Benjamin Carmine of Delta squad, do you copy?"
There was no answer, nothing but dead silence greeted him and he realised there wasn't even any static, it seemed that his radio had either broken or had run out of power.
"Aww man...What am I going to do now?" He asked apparently to the air
"I'm on my own... in a worm...I need to try and find a way out, Delta might not even be here, I can do this...I can get out okay" Carmine felt better saying everything out loud as if doing so confirmed that everything was going to work out.
The ground beneath his feet rumbled and he lost his balance for a second, ending up sprawled once more on the soft forgiving floor which was a firm and disturbing reminder that he was actually inside a living creature.
"Damn it...this is disgusting!" He grumbled as he again made to stand up, though he was still a little unsteady on his feet.
Finally he managed to get back up; looking around his eyes fell on a discarded Lancer Assault Rifle, and he quickly and groggily made his way over to it, stooping down and snatching it from the mucky and sticky floor of the worm. He'd felt a bit dizzy as he bent over but he noticed it was getting less obvious and he could handle it better which gave him some relief, though he looked around a little more to try and locate his Longshot Rifle. After ten or so minutes of looking around where he had landed, he decided he must have lost it earlier on and held very little hope of finding it, though he realised it wasn't as if he would find anything to snipe down here, but he'd want it for when he got out. He thought about that for a quick moment, he was thinking that he would get out, not that he might or might not, it was a determination that he had gained from having to try and deal with a pretty messed up situation on his own, he didn't have Delta squad's veterans looking out for him now, he didn't even have control to look out for him.
"Right...time to find a way out" he said hopefully
There were two directions he could walk in, though unfortunately he wasn't sure which direction he had fallen, so he couldn't be sure whether or not he was walking the way he came which would probably be a bad idea, due to the fact the worm was probably still eating, that and he was certain he had seen rings of teeth at some point. While Benjamin stood trying to decipher the best direction he noticed movement to his left, a large mass of something was heading slowly towards him.
"What the hell?" he asked incredulous
Though he didn't stop to watch, just started making his way towards his right, obviously the worm had just swallowed something and the left held the direction of the mouth, either that or its digestive system was seriously weird. Carmine walked briskly cradling his Lancer in his hands as he checked over his shoulder every now and then to check the progress of the swallowed mass, it was still quite a way away but he found himself lightly jogging, at least for as long as his chest would allow. After a few minutes he found himself standing before large rectangular shaped blocks that were hammering down on the floor of the worm. He didn't have anywhere else to go so he watched them for a few minutes and noted that they were smashing the floor within a set pattern and timeframe, if he timed it right he could get through in one piece.
He stood as close to the first tooth as he could without being crushed, just as it started to rise back up he roadie ran beneath it, cringing slightly at the stickiness under his boots and the strings of mucus being suspended and stretched between the two contact surfaces. Benjamin had already set a target for the next toothless space and he reached it just as the tooth hammered back into the ground behind him, now he prepared himself for the next which seemed to be falling and rising at the same speed as the tooth before it. Again he roadie ran and again he managed to get to the next space, though when he laid eyes on the next tooth he realised he would have to run a little further to reach the next safe space, his chest was starting to gain a continual ache now rather than just a sharp stab of pain every so often, but it didn't matter, he had to keep going...there wasn't anywhere else to go and he had already made it past two teeth.
Carefully watching the timings Carmine finally put on a burst of speed as the large long tooth lifted, and he drove his feet into the floor forcing himself to go faster despite the heaving protest of his chest. He was most of the way when he heard a sound above his head indicating that the massive structure was about to fall back down and crush him, he pushed harder and took a leaping roll forwards barely clearing the boney platform before the tooth smashed against it.
"Man...that...was...close..." He panted as he looked gingerly behind him as the tooth started rising again
The rest of the dreaded teeth were much less of a problem after that, with one smashing against some debris leaving a space between the occluding teeth and the floor allowing him to roadie run the distance with little worry. Finally he made it out and no more teeth were in sight.
"Thank the COG that's over" he said happily as he started walking slowly forward, away from the nightmarish path behind him.
While he walked he noticed the sides of the path were decorated with something that looked a lot like grass but he noticed it was thick and swaying slightly. Its appearance wasn't too appealing so Carmine decided he wasn't going to investigate it further, he knew if Sergeant Fenix were with him he would probably yell at him for even standing near it. While Benjamin walked he thought a little about his squad wondering where they might be, he hoped that they had gotten out of the Ilema sink hole safely, he also wondered if they might be looking for him. He didn't know if they would be and he decided that he didn't mind if they weren't, there were more important things than searching for a lone Rookie Gear, though Carmine realised he probably should have gotten straight into the Raven when Sergeant Fenix had called. He wanted to help cover them as they boarded, he wanted to prove he wasn't a liability, he wanted to make people proud of him, his Mother; his Brothers even Sergeant Fenix.
Suddenly a blister formed on the floor in front of him and without hesitation he aimed his rifle at the swollen skin, though he jumped back involuntarily as a group of insect looking creatures poured out of the now burst blister. Benjamin fired his Lancer haphazardly as some of the creatures jumped from the floor to the level of his ribs and forced him down onto the floor. With horror and agony he realised acid was spewing from them all over his armour, he could even feel a burning sensation on his skin...the acid had melted through the metal plates. With undisputed panic and fear coupled with his body's self preservation he kicked and thrashed out at the insects, his Lancer had dropped from his hands as he had fallen against the floor.
"Get off me...argh!" he coughed and spluttered
They were all over him now and he thrashed about harder, though as he did so he heard a voice behind him, though he didn't concern himself with who it was.
Benjamin managed to kick one of the creatures away but the pain he could feel in his torso was getting worse, and he realised he could smell acrid burning as well.
"Yah...Get off me! Argh...Get the hell off me!" he yelled at them as if the command would be enough to make them stop their assault...it wasn't, it only intensified and they pulled him across the floor.
Gunfire resounded in Carmine's ears, it was a sound every Gear regardless of experience could pick out from a whole array of sounds, it was engraved into them. Finally the insect things abandoned him and he took a shaky breath, he didn't need to look at his torso to know that the wound there was fatal...he could feel as much, the pain was unbearable and unmistakable. He wasn't going to make it out of the worm after all, though at least he had seen the sky again for however brief.
"Do you think we'll ever see the sky again?"
"Yeah...Yeah Kid I do"
Heavy foot falls announced the presence of someone, most probably a gear judging by the weight of the steps, and he called out the first person he assumed it could be.
"...Sarge?" As Carmine glimpsed at the person beside him through the haziness that his vision had become he realised it was to his relief, his squad Sergeant.
Benjamin couldn't help himself he just started talking, there were things he wanted to say, he knew he was going to die but he realised he wasn't afraid of it, nor did he want to embrace it. He didn't want to die, he wanted to live, wanted to see his Mother again and his Brothers, Clay was the eldest and he too was a Gear, Benjamin had even written a letter to him not so long ago.
"I hurt Sarge...tell my brothers...tell my ma...tell 'em I love 'em...and...and"
Death's cloaked embrace was tugging at him and the little vision he had left was fading into fogginess, losing control of his mouth he stopped speaking before he could finish what he wanted to say. The pain was starting to ease and he almost felt as if he was dreaming. The last thoughts that filled his mind were not of whether humanity would gain victory through this brutal war, but instead, whether he would see his brother Anthony again, and he hoped just as his conscious began to slip into the void that he wouldn't be seeing the rest of his family, or even his squad anytime soon.