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Title: Dual Marines Author:Chlazza

(Inspired by co-op mode)

The Marine sat at the edge of the concrete ledge, feet dangling in the water. It wasnÕt like he could feel the water rushing around his legs through his environmental suit though.
After a moment of watching the rapidly darkening sky and listening to the absently howling wind he unshouldered his assault rifle.
The other Marine came over and sat next to him, crossing her legs, pistol in hand, dropping a flamethrower backpack on the ground next to her.

"You wouldn't be able to loan me a pistol would you? Mine jammed irreparably."
The first marine extracted a Magnum from its holster on his left hip. He spun it around his finger on one of its trigger guards and presented it to her grip first.
"Thanks," she said as she took the pistol.
"No problem."

They sat in silence for awhile.
The first marine pulled the half-filled clip out of his assault rifle. He glanced at the top of it, looking for signs of wear or dirt. The Creator knew he had dragged this rifle through enough environments for it to jam a dozen times by now. So far it had only developed an abnormal ticking sound when firing, which was amazing considering the quality and ability of the previous equipment that this weapon was based off of.
The second marine was idly toying with her pistol: making sure the sight was clean, the action worked smoothly, and there wasnÕt any dirt or anything anywhere in the weapon that would cause it to malfunction. She deiced that it passed the mild inspection and put it back in its hip holster.
The first marine pulled back the action on his rifle with his right hand. An unspent cartridge flew out of the port on the side. Letting go of the action quickly, the marine caught the cartridge in midair with an armored glove before it could fall in the water below. He looked around for somewhere to place it until deciding the area between his teeth was the best.
He turned to his partner.

"Got a light?" he said, bullet dangling from his mouth like a cigarette, projectile end pointing out.

She shook her head. He couldnÕt see through the reflective visor on her helmet, and thus couldnÕt tell if she was conveying a negative or was disapproving of his bad sense of humor. He found the clip for his AR and stuffed the shell back in the top, and spit out the brass taste in his mouth into the rushing water in front of them.

"So what did Durandal say?" he asked, nodding over his shoulder to the SÕpht terminal mounted on the wall behind them, popping the plastic case off his assault rifle while he talked.
"Were not done. Apparently there is another computer node..."

She trailed off.

"I see it," he said.

A red dot was moving across their motion sensors, coming up behind them and along the ledge to the right, their view blocked by a wall.
The first marine pulled out a shotgun from its hip holster just behind the pistolsÕ, the partially dismantled assault rifle still on his lap. The second marine had out her fusion pistol.
There was a fluttering sound and a Tick bobbed around the corner and past them, heading towards a particularly tasty looking bunch of moss on a far wall.
The marines returned their respective weapons to their respective storage points.

"We have another computer node to activate still somewhere?"
"Yup. Durandal doesnÕt know where it is either."

The first marine decided that field stripping the weapon would take too long, and replaced the plastic cover and reinserted the clip. If the weapon started jamming or something heÕd worry about it then. He worked the action, slung the weapon over his shoulder, and stood up. The second marine stood up and picked up the napalm tanks she put down earlier and strapped them back on.


They walked into the rapidly advancing darkness of night, the light breeze carrying the haunting call of a far off bird.

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