Author's Note: A Battle: Los Angeles fic. Will take place in the alternating points of view of Sloane O'Reilly and Corporal Lee Imlay. I own nothing but my OC and her suggested romance. If you have any input on the military-based plot, please don't refrain from reviewing! I need all assistance I can get and all knowledge that you may have about the US Marine Corps (oorah!).


The sky had gone grey and black with the plumes of smoke and smell of gunpowder. Most all the officers in the station were dead, and to think I'd stopped in to say hello to Chris's dad and grab a doughnut or two with him and his buddies. But there they lay, collapsed in pools of blood on the floor, gunshot wounds piercing each and every one of them. They were still warm, but the discoloration was beginning to take place, as a greyish tinge had taken to their skin. The Hispanic father and son were curled up with two girls, one smaller than the son, the other in her preteen stages, and another woman. I stood in my corner, staring at them. What unity did they have, when all I had was falling apart?

Dad was dead. We'd received the call from Afghanistan a few nights prior to the meteor shower, or whatever it was, and now that the meteors had hit, chances were Mom had died too. Mom, Jacob, my best friend Crystal...chances were, most of my friends and family were probably dead. And it was only a matter of time before I was to join them. There was no winning here, when it came to this strange extraterrestrial race.

"M-Miss?" stammered the Hispanic man, offering out his hand to me. "P-please stay with us." I looked down to the eyes of his son, then those of the two girls. They were pleading and innocent. What had they lost to this war? I obliged, taking the man's hand and huddling up with them. In an instant, the small boy had wrapped himself about my waist, the tears running from his eyes down my shirt. And my hand made its way to his back, patting it lightly.

"Shh, sweetie, it's gonna be okay, I promise," I whispered, kissing the top of his head. Had his mother died in recent events?

"Hector, por favor," his father muttered, and the small boy retreated back. "I'm sorry, Miss, wife...his mother was killed in the gunfire this morning." I nodded.

"I'm so s-sorry, sir," I mumbled back, running a hand through my hair. "My dad passed away in Afghanistan about a week ago. He was in the Marines. Y'know, they're supposed to be coming in a little bit, huh? They're supposed to come save us. They're gonna come get us and it'll all be okay, okay?" Hector looked up at me with hope in his little eyes. I tried to smile at him, but for the hot moisture running from my own eyes and down my cheeks. Hector's dad in turn patted my back.

"Uh, there, there, Miss." I put on my best smile. "It'll be okay?"

"Yeah, you're right."

BANG! What sounded like whispers came from wherever the crash was, and we huddled up closer. There were shuffles, and they were closing in on us. I tightened my grip around Hector and the little girls. This is it. I'm about to die. I'm about to see Dad, and probably Mom, probably Jacob, probably Crystal. And you know what? I think I'm ready for it. I think it's right this time. I looked up into the face of Death.

"U.S. MARINES!" shouted Death, aiming his machine gun into my face. I threw my hands up on instinct, and I was no longer staring at the inside of the barrel. There were quite a few of them, the Marines, and they were all clad with weapons and the typical camo I saw in so many of the candid pictures Dad was always taking. After a long, frozen moment, the woman stood up. "How many of you are there?" Death questioned, his enormous cleft chin blocking most of my view on his words.

"S-six, three kids." Death looked to the rest of his men, and nodded.

One of them grabbed my elbow, and I snuck him a questioning look. For one of Death's minions, he could have been an angel.