In Glory We Return, Part 2

Joeyray's Bar
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"Move forward in twos and give me-"

A hallway door blows outward under enormous stress, sending shrapnel into the far wall.
I raise the gunblade, ready to shoot what ever comes out. "Contact!"
I slam into cover, and set my sights on the wrecked doorway.
A faint sobbing can be heard through the newly made hole. It is hard to tell if it belongs to a boy or a girl at this distance and volume, but it is definitely not an adult.
From his cover behind a shredded hydralisk, Matt hears the noise and decides to act before some idiot gets himself killed.

"Wait. Probably a trick."

Matt's left shoulder whirrs and his Falcon detaches. It hovers forward carefully and enters the room close to the ceiling, relaying its visual to Cptn Nathanson, who in turn feeds it to the others.
"This....feels too much like Blood Valley. Some infested set up a similar ambush for us...Sir, I don't like this."
The room is filled with many more zerg bodies rent like those in the hall. In the far corner of the room a girl no older than seven is sitting against the wall, her knees crunched in front of her chest like she is trying to compact herself into nothing.

The falcon must have made some sound because she looks up at it. The camera perfectly frames her face, showing messy brown locks and sky blue eyes red from crying.

There is an enormous crash as Pvt. Hanson hits the ground.
Everyone turns and raises their rifles, expecting the worst but Pvt. Hanson is already getting up and yells: "Stop him!"

Everyone turns towards the direction she is pointing too late to stop Brigadier General Wells from rounding the corner and entering the room.

"CLARE!" Wells envelops the girl in an armored hug. Carefully of course. Careless hugs from power armor were hazards to your health.

The girl looks at his face and manages to choke out between sobs: "Un... Uncle... Uncle Ryan?"
Wells voice seems to be on the edge of tears. "Yes Clare. I'm here. You me and our tree."
She snivels. "You... Still have our tree?"
Wells reaches into his helmet near the chin and pulls out a small piece of wood, no more than two inches long and less than an inch thick. "I'd never go anywhere without it."

///Pvt. Hanson///
I furrow my eyebrows. "All other weirdness aside, Wells has a first name?"
Pvt. Cordiva: "Of course he does. Everyone has a first name. Wells just... never told anyone? You know that is pretty bloody odd."
I nod, allready thinking of the possibilities. "Just wait till we get back. How much do you think this info will be worth to the cooking staff?"
Cordiva nods with his eyes closed. "I can taste the steak already. And good wine to."
I follow the General, still wary and a frown of concern on my face. "Sir, don't you find it a bit odd that your niece is here of all places?"
I turn to address the solder.
"Yes and no. Psi-ops took her three years ago... I never expected to see her again."
"Psi-ops? I didn't think they took them that young..."
"They take them when they show talent. Clare did quite the opening. We were shopping for her birthday." I pause and smile. "She was wandering down one of the isles when a toy caught her eye. When I asked her what she was looking at, she said it was a lonely looking teddy bear. Isn't that right Clare?"

She nods. "Spot said he was lonely on that shelf."

"All the others had been sold and that one had been left behind because of a stain on the side of its head. Anyway I said to her 'Why don't you ask him if he wants to come home with us as your birthday present?' She was thrilled with the idea and very politely asked him if he wanted to come home with us."

I stop. I can't decide if this part is more funny or painful to me. "It jumped right off the shelf and into her arms. I thought this was very odd, but agreed to get it for her anyway. It wasn't until we reached the checkout that I realized what had happened. I got my confirmation a second later."

I smile again. "The look on the cashier's face was priceless. She was looking behind me with her mouth open. Clare pulled my sleeve and pointed to the isle we had just left. All the teddy bears were leaning around the corner of the isle, looking at us. Clare whispered to me: 'I think they are jealous Spot is going home before them.' I just nodded."

I stop smiling. "The cashier must have called the government because there was a ghost and three marines at our door the next day. I haven't seen her since then."
I shake my head in disgust. "And here I thought that they had standards."
"Good lord..."

I shake my head. You know what they're like.

"Why is she here? And alive?"

My falcon slowly hovers back down and connects to my shoulder.
"Hell's bells..." Rick mutters under his breath, shaking his head in disgust. Jason nods in apparant agreement, while Macintosh's helmet simply sags down, his expression unreadable under his helmet. Michael, having seen him like this before, reassuringly pats him on the shoulder before going back to making sure nothing snuck up on them without getting a taste of explosive flames.
I look at Wells. "Sir, the girl may have valuable information about the Zerg attack we need... need to question her."

I hesitate.

"It... it's also a little hard to believe that she's..." I trail off, unable to finish the sentence.
Romeo was watching their flank, his barrel gleaming with what bare light there was.

Terri was watching the girl while watching the scanners.
I shake my head;
"You'd be surprised. From what I've heard, younger psychics make up for their lack of skill and control with incredible amounts of power. I wouldn't be surprised if she was responsible for that."
I say gesturing to the carnage.
I look at it, and raise my suits energy scanner. Sure enough, trace amounts of psionic energy. "She, or some other ghost was. Use your armor's energy scanners. You'll find plenty of psionic energy on those corpses."
[Ghost reporting. Unforeseen complications sir. The Brigadier is related to the girl.]

[WHAT!?! How could this happen?] There is a few seconds of noise, suddenly tense breath, someone shifting in a chair trying to decide on the best course of action in a situation so far away. [Kill him.]

[You sure about that?]

[Yes. The universe can survive the loss of a brigadier we have lots to spare. We don't get psionics over level seven every day. The psionic takes precedence. Now kill the brigadier.]

[Yes sir.]

///Pvt. Hanson///
"Sir! I have an encrypted audio signal. Origin within 50 meters of my location. The decryption key isn't in my suit, so that means direct communication with command."

Wells strides over to the female convict (obviously the smarter of the two) and picks her up, using the wall as support. Even so the servos in Well's suit whine as they lift a weight equal to the entire suit they are attached to.
His voice is cold and threatening "Who did you contact?"

Clare unexpectedly comes to your defense. "It wasn't her. It was the invisible man."

Cover's blown. Kill target and get out. The rifle comes up and the dots line up on Well's visor. Gentle squeeze of the trigger. *ghost rifle fires*

---In a world not so far away---
Terri was being threatened! She was becoming angry at this. "I did not contact anyone! I clearly want my freedom..." Just as she tried to free herself, a bullet came flying through the air, piercing it. It all went dark as Terri's head slammed into the wall.

Romeo was yelling out orders. "GET TO COVER!" As he stormed near both Wells and Terri, dragging both of them.

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