Although he couldn’t see it the Awoken Hunter knew that the boundary of space that humanity controlled was shrinking back to Earth, placing him far past enemy lines. His fireteam had long since evacuated the Clovis Bray sector, he himself disobeying orders to retreat. If the intel was true then he couldn’t ignore it, something had to be done.
Bernie Lomax was the last surviving occupant of Mars, standing atop one of the emptied towers of the martian city. The burnished sands swept along the structures, already beginning to bury them to be forgotten as time passed. There were no weapons for him to prime, no ammunition to ration, all of it he had let his squad take to better their chances of survival back on Earth. He waited, listening to the comm chatter as he virtually snuck into signals, learning bits and pieces of the Cabal’s native tongue. There was but one portion that stood out, a few syllables that were repeated before any other saying. He was gathering the first intelligence of Cabal ranking system, relaying it all back to Earth.
On the cusp of starvation and in the throes of lethal dehydration he prepared for the moment, the one window of opportunity that very well spelled out the fate of humanity’s interaction with the Cabal. The days spent letting his body die and spying on the Cabal were all done standing, letting the wind whip around him and the sun fade his cloak. The crack of ships breaking orbit sent adrenaline rushing through his veins, it was the jolt his body needed to stay alive just one more hour.
The Cabal fleet scanned over the surface of Mars, Bernie’s presence forcing their attention to focus on Clovis Bray. The ships landed, the tanks rolled out, and the ranks were released on foot. Even while he could see them doing sweep and clears of the buildings he remained in his position, heart beating faster to the point he could hear it in his own ears.
A line of Phalanxes busted down the only door that brought them to the same roof he stood upon, more Cabal filing in behind them as they surrounded the Awoken man. He didn’t move, didn’t speak, simply letting them take their precautions. As one unit the Phalanxes started to move their circle with Bernie in the center towards the door, letting him walk on his own. They ushered him down the stairs and into a freight elevator, keeping their weapons trained on the man. Coming to the open courtyard between the glistening glass towards they stopped, Bernie doing the same as he looked around wondering why they would take him to the ground just to kill him.
It was the ground shaking footsteps that caught his attention, visor turning up as a massive Cabal came forward. The armor was adorned with all sorts of marks and medals, the adornments much more impressive than any other Cabal in the area. It was easy to deduce that this one Cabal was the ranking and commanding officer of the ground forces. This was who Bernie had been waiting for.
The officer tried communicate with him, the bellowing grunts having very little meaning to the Hunter. Slowly his hands came up, pressing the locks of his helmet to release before he pulled it off, dropping it to the ground. It was a tactic, a risky one but it would give him what he needed. The war mongering Cabal took the removing of a critical piece of armor in exactly the way he wanted them to, feeling a sense of slight relaxation among the crowd.
With a few steps forward he brought up his hands like he was surrendering, “I am Bernie Lomax, a Hunter from Earth.”
The officer quickly cast a look over the ranks, confused on the sounds coming out the Awoken. When the visor came back down to him he stepped closer, nose to waistline with the Cabal. Still he spoke, knowing it only confused them all further, “I know you don’t know what I’m saying and I have no idea what you’re saying. All I know is that you’re the one I’ve been waiting for.”
With blurring speed Bernie’s hands came together, body bursting into flames as his Golden Gun materialized. All three fiery shots were true to their marks, two going through each side of the officer’s chest and one into his helmet. They burned entirely through, leaving clear holes in the Cabal officer. With how massive he was the body came toppling down, crushing Bernie underneath in a thunderous crash.
Lieutenants and Commanders quickly descended on the area, instructing the ranks that threatened to melt into chaos. Orders were shouted, comm relays were filled, the Emperor had to know what had transpired on the first planet they landed on.
The sound of blood and internal organs sloshing around was the first thing that gained their attention again, looking to the body of their fallen officer. The back armor plate cracked open, the point of a knife coming up from the body. A few more jabs created enough of an opening for the most nightmarish vision the Cabal would ever encounter.
Bernie had cut his way through the body, emerging from the corpse covered in blue blood and bits of guts hanging from his armor. Never had the Cabal witnessed such an act of barbarism nor such a will to live. It was then they catalogued humanity under the categories of survivalists and extremists, their aim trained on the single Hunter. Arms spreading wide he welcomed the bellowed order, the cacophony of gunfire ringing in his ears as the bolts ripped through his body. In just a split second he was dead. It would be centuries before his Ghost would find him buried in the sands.
It was a day the Cabal would never forget, realizing the horrifying truth that humanity was far more lethal than they expected. It was the day the Emporer flew into a rage over the fact that one of his three fleet admirals, the second highest ranking in the Cabal army, was killed by one Awoken. It was the day that humanity was spared a fourth enemy on Earth, having stopped the Cabal advancement on Mars.
All due to one man by the name of Bernie Lomax.
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