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The ocean churned sea foam and alien kelp into a froth as it curled against the beach head. 

 

Higgins spit, wiping his eyes from the blood that had made its way through the open slits of their Gecko.

 

"God damn! It's in my fucking mouth!"

 

The machine whined as it crushed Arachnid chitin beneath its weight, making the pavement run with green ichor and Bug viscera.]

 

Paulson gripped the wheel, and maneuvered around the larger, jagged corpses. Somewhere along the way, the dead bugs gave way to dead members of the garrison.

 

Fingers, scalps, organs and all littered the gutters, all spilling out of tattered uniforms courtesy of Archie.

 

They think the last of the civilians had made it onto the boats, but they had already seen a few of them cut apart from below. 

 

Not even the ones in the Skyhooks and Vikings were safe. Hoppers circled around the LZs, waiting to throw themselves against their massive hulls and tear open their cabins.

 

"Stop! Stop!" Smith shouted.

 

The pavement started to give way up ahead as they approached the customs house.

 

"Back up! Get us turned around!"

 

"Fuck's sake!"

 

Higgins wrenched the wheel around, sweat accumulating on his forehead.

 

In the desperate attempt to evade the opening street, the Gecko grinded to a halt over the smashed corpses of Arachnids, just short of the ticket office.

 

"Don't tell me..."

 

Smith opened up the hatch and fit himself through. He braced his legs, firing rounds through the humid air.

 

His body spasmed as something big grazed the top of the Gecko, making it rock on its suspension. Blood ran down Smith's fatigues as he slumped backward, stuck in the hatchway.

 

Higgins tugged the man's legs, pulling himself forward to find that Smith's head had been taken clean off.

 

He recoiled, "Jesus Christ! Hoppers got Smith!"

 

"Just fucking step on it, Higgins! We'll be next if you don't floor it!"

 

"We're stuck!"

 

 

 

Desperate clambering to get out of the Gecko. The street was littered with bodies and spent casings. Someone's family hadn't been quick enough.

Bodies splayed over the hoods of cars, ribs jutting out of chest cavities. Bugs didn't discriminate.

 

They heard it first, over the sizzling of earth. The blasting of dropship thrusters. There was still a chance, they thought.

 

But talons made quick work of the Gecko, ripping it apart from the bottom up.

 

The wounded were abandoned- there was no chance of escaping while carrying them. They screamed as the Arachnids tore into the interior.

 

The few who survived quickly found themselves overwhelmed. One by one, they were skewered and tossed about, colliding with the pavement with sickening snaps.

 

They didn't have charges, they didn't have M-55's. All they could do was hope that the dropship would see them, and save them from a grisly death.

 

But as the last of them were cut down, hoppers swarmed the ship- knocking it out of the sky and straight into the ocean. Even if they survived the impact and managed to get out, they were already dead.

 

Warriors pushed them into the last intersection they'd ever see.

 

"What are you waiting for, Archie!? I'm right here!"

 

The day was lost, but in their last thoughts, they had faith that this wouldn't go unanswered for.

 

 

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