A/n: I was reading some fanfiction that really got me going, and this one shot popped right into my head. I'm hoping to add some others to this as well, so give me some feed back about what you think!

His head throbbed to the beat of his soul, adrenaline coursing through every vein in his body as he sat down on a cliff face overlooking a massive cavern, a sweeping vista of potential horror and destruction meeting his thousand-yard-stare.

There were hundreds of locust marching in a congealed mass across the tunnel, trying to scrape by without spearing each other on their deadly weapons. Theron guards snapped at any drone getting within a two feet radius, boomers tried to delicately skip over tickers. The cave rumbled with thousands of feet stomping without rhythm, dust and the occasional stalagmite falling down from the ceiling hundreds of meters up.

They were headed somewhere, and Epsilon squad had been tasked to reconnoiter the massive troop movement and report back.

Artemi Miller, guerilla and demolitions expert, was a corporal in Epsilon squad. Or had been, anyway.

He grabbed his standard issue longshot and propped it on his knee, taking in the locust horde. Next to him lay three remote detonators, a piece of glossy paper, and a revolver with a single shot.

He remembered his teammates, vaguely. The second they saw the waves of grunts with enough firepower to overtake Jacinto, they'd ran back to the centaur and radio'd what passed for headquarters, screaming incoherent babble at the massive amount of troops traveling in the natural caves. From there on it got hard to remember.

He remembered his family vividly.

Little Cissy, with brown hair and scabbed knees, always ready for a fight, and his wife, that beautiful, amazing grease-stained goddess, managing to look breath-taking in a pair of overalls and a grin.

He remembered E-day, and the slaughter it brought.

He lifted the picture reverently, kissed the two people in it, and tucked it into his armor. He picked up the detonators, and placed them in a row next to his feet.

He hadn't run like the other gears. He was done with running. There was nothing for him to protect anymore. No Cissy, no mechanical maiden. So he jacked the explosives from the centaur while the mechanic was busy berating the squad leader for handling his baby the wrong way, tucked and rolled, then set up shop. Epsilon wasn't that tight—if someone wanted to go kill themselves, who were they to stop him?

He lifted one of the detonators, practically weightless in his hand, thought about his wife and daughter on last time, and pressed the trigger. A row of troops were instantly incinerated, limbs flying. The cavern rocked, pieces of the ceiling fell, and Artemi's ears bled from the concussive blast of centaur shells in an enclosed space.

He tossed the now-useless button down the cliff face, and picked up the second, and repeated the process. Micro-explosions caused by faulty Locust equipment caused a few more casualties than he expected, and he watched in glee as drones scattered and exploded from friendly missiles.

He started laughing. At first he thought he was having a seizure of some sort, but once he regained a little bit of hearing he understood. His grief had taken control of his body, and he was letting it, giving back the locust as much pain as he had felt during the entire war. His hands to tossed the second detonator down with the first, and then picked up the third. His mouth started yelling. "Fish in a barrel, honey!" He said, cackling. "Fish in a goddamn big barrel!"

The third detonation caused cracks to emerge from the ceiling, racing across the entire cavern and spreading even more dust on the enraged locust. There was a crack, and the then a sound like a million groaning old men filled the air.

Artemi never had to use his longshot. The fissures spread quicker than fire on oil, and soon parts of the ceiling were falling. Bits fell, then larger pieces, then giant chunks of earth's crust broke off and fell, fell, fell onto the locust, until the entire army was crushed under the earth.

Artemi's cog tag never saw the light. The pictures of the garage goddess and her daughter were never excavated. He lay there permanently, with the family he loved in his pocket and the army he tried to protect them from dead at his feet.

A/N: so yeah, that was it. A little darker than I usually write, but it is what it is. Review, tell me what's bad, what's not, and if you like it I'll try to get another one-shot out.