I know it took me forever to update, and I know this chapter might not be as good as the other and I know. . .(rest is truncated)

Anyway I hope you enjoy this, even though I have massive writer's block.

"Lucas?" Carter asked the other Spartan III, who was sitting at the bar. He didn't know why he asked, he knew Lucas' name, and he was sure that it was Lucas that was holding a shot glass between his thumb and index finger, empty. The bar was lit with dim lights, soft and blue.

Women in short dresses flirted with civilian men around the bar, cigarette smoke gathering around the ceiling, tainting everything with its smell. Carter took the seat next to Lucas, whose pale skin looked bluish in the light.

"How did you feel, Carter? After you lost Thom?" Lucas asked quietly, in an accent so similar to Jorge's it made Carter cringe. He ordered a round of drinks for the two of them, hopelessly trying to drown away their mutual sadness in alcohol.

Carter breathed deeply. He was a Spartan. But did that mean he wasn't allowed to remorse in lost comrades? But how could he put the feelings into words? "I failed. I let him die, and Kat lose her arm. I'm their commander. I have to do better."

Lucas looked over at Carter, who was several years older than him. "Hm," he grunted in a sarcastic laugh, "That's how I felt after I left Maxim behind."

"There was nothing you could do."

"Nor was there anything you could do to save Thom or keep Kat's arm." Lucas took a swig from his cup. "I really wish we could get drunk." His shoulders sagged. There weren't a lot of places he could let them sag under the stress placed on him. But the civilian bar, in civilian clothes, with a trusted friend, that was okay.

"They're dead. But the rest of our teams aren't. So we have to keep it up." Carter emptied his glass, then stood and left the bar, and the tab, with Lucas.


Gun fire rattled off, Covenant fell, piling in great heaps so they could rot and ferment in their own blood. It didn't matter now that the mission wouldn't be finished, he didn't have a mission anymore, other than to get as many of the aliens dead on Reach as possible before he rotted as their's already were.

He kept thinking back to the night at the bar with Carter, as he stood alone, emptying round after round out of his gun, pumping hot lead into the homicidal Covenant.

They're dead.

Carter had said of their KIA comrades, then speaking of Thom and Maxim, now as Lucas relived the conversation, it felt as though Carter were talking of both their teams. By now, surely most if not all of Noble Team had to be terminated. Just like Planform was, save him. And not for long.

But the rest of our teams aren't.

They were now, not a bit of them unburned by plasma. Maybe one of them was still alive, in a horrible half-existence as they watched their commander beat down by the enemies he fought so viciously.

So we have to keep it up.

What was there to keep up? His team—that had been his reason to keep fighting. But with them laying dead or dying, to be forgotten and trod on by the Covenant, the only thing keeping him going was the instinct that the instructors had beat into him back in training—keep fighting till you're down. Was that how Noble Team had gone? Surely.

Lucas. . .

There were too many of them. He'd killed all the foot troops, all the Grunts, all the Brutes. But the Elites were roaring angrily now, activating their energy swords and rushing at him. There had never been too many for him to take on before. That, of course, was because he'd had a team on his back, but not this time.

"How much lead can you mother f****ers take?!" He exclaimed to himself.

I really wish I could get drunk. . .

That hasn't changed, he thought. I still wanna know what it's like to be in love, I still want to feel what it's like to lead a team through a glassing, I still want to hear the scream of an Elite as I shoot it down. . .over and over and over again.

Just one more time. The Elites' scream deafened Lucas, a lone Spartan on a vast battlefield that dominated horizons. These Elites wouldn't kill him, not if he could help it. And he could. He still had something to fight for—his mission. And right then, his mission was to eliminate every Covenant on that planet, even if he died trying. He would, he knew that. But it was okay, because right then, he didn't need to live any longer than past those last few moments.

Finally he emptied his last magazine, and whipped out his magnum, ready to shoot the slug right between the last Elite's eyes—he wasn't there. All the Elites lay on the ground around him, dead or bleeding out and cursing him with their last breaths.

The sky was over cast, cloudy. Rain fell onto his visor as he looked up. Just a second of rest before he moved on, just one mome-

A single round. Silent, leaving a trail of purple behind it. Exploding out of the barrel a mile away, speeding through the air, finding it's mark. It exploded through on side of the helmet and out the other. The Covenant would claim Reach.

(continued from top) . . .and I know I've been writing really depressing stuff lately and I know. . .