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    Dust and Echoes

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    Dust and Echoes

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 5th 2013, 6:23 pm

    There are some things you should know about this; 1: It is a short story. 2: The basic premise behind this story was inspired by *semi* true real life events, mostly the beginning. 3: This idea was brought up to me by Katie, who unfortunately has left me to go to the city, where she feels more at home.

    Dust and Echoes *a tribute short story*

    Plot by: Katie
    Written by: Morgan

    Chapter 1:

    My first day of Kindergarten, I remember it like it was yesterday. My mother lifted me off the floor, pecked me on the cheeks, and left me in an unknown territory. Unlike the other kids in the many provinces of Harvest, I did not have access to Pre-School, although my two older siblings had before me.

    The teacher looked down at me, a friendly, genuine smile on her face. Pointing to the floor in front of her, where all of the other students sat, she beckoned me over to the rest of the group. I obliged, comforted by the lady's sweetness. Taking a seat down beside another kid, I looked around. One boy nodded to me, waving to the best of his abilities not to be noticed. I shyly waved back, as the kid next to me looked over, a smile on her face.

    "I'm Angel." She smiled, giggling as I tried to reply.

    Something about her long brown hair made me feel comforted around her. I liked being in her company, and even though I had no idea what it meant at the time, I had fallen in love.

    "I'm Billy." I smiled back, finally able to get the words to come out.

    "Okay class." The teacher replied. "Today's story is; Petey the Pelican Drop-ship."

    Petey the Pelican Drop-ship had to be my favorite story, not only because the drawings were always so vivid and colorful, but because my father was a Pilot in the UNSC, and I always imagined him in the book.

    Of course, my father was never home. Even on the off-chance that he did come home, he was always so busy, I almost never saw him. Angel turned to me, placing her hand on mine, and smiled.

    The boy who waved to me stood up from his seat, plopping down to my right.

    "Name's Troy." He nodded.

    "Billy." I said, as he clasped me on the back.

    "You and me are going to be good friends." He said, nodding to Angel. "You can be too."

    I remember for the entirety of that year we never left each other's sides. We were inseparable, but with all good things, they must come to an end. After Kindergarten, Troy was transferred to a whole other school, and the years following it, Angel and I drifted further and further away, until I was certain she had almost completely forgotten about me.

    Each year of that span of time, the worse things got for me. My only friend was a fellow by the name of Sean, who for the time, was the only one that would come anywhere close to me. Everyone had some problem with me, in one way or another. I remember one night my Father was actually free, and we had been playing some board game, and the phone rang. He handed it to me, saying it was one of my friends from school.

    "I don't like you, no-one likes you." It was Dylan and his best pal Zach, the ones that were the worst of my class.

    My father, as paranoid as he became from his out of service job, had left the phone on speaker. Grabbing the phone back from me, he stormed out of the room. I wasn't sure what happened on the other side, until I could hear him yelling. Rarely did he get angry, but when he did, things were said, things he'd never say in a thousand life-times.

    Whatever he said got Dylan and Zach off of my case, and it was only three years after that that they got their just deserts. They were caught in the Farmlands, grabbing Medical Marijuana and smoking it. I never saw them again until five years later, in High School.

    One of my other bullies, Tyler, had a strange obsession with my Sister, Elena. Everyday he would mention something about doing things to my sister, things that I didn't understand at the time, other than they were a threat. Of course, I knew my sister could fend for herself, being almost six years older than me. But Tyler had gone too far, and I grew tired of his shit.

    I remember him falling to the floor, a few broken teeth, some cracked ribs, and his stomach was bruised. I remember the teacher running at me like a angry bull, the wild look in her eye as she tried to pick Tyler off of the floor.

    "You're such a loser." Melody, a friend of Angel's, spat at me, as the group walked away from the fight.

    At home, it wasn't much different. My brothers were obsessed with the false idea that I liked other men. I respect the gays, but I am not so. It was a daily struggle, and thoughts started popping into my mind, thoughts that no eleven child should ever have thought.

    Despite my constant optimism, I knew that I was alone.
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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 5th 2013, 6:53 pm

    Chapter 2:

    Tyler was in the ER for a week before I ever saw him in school again. He would glare at me, and used his injuries to blame me for everything. One of my greatest downfalls was my ability to forgive so easily, making me a bit of a push-over. During one of the many Holidays we celebrated during school, I gave him a card, not only as an apology, but as a token of good faith.

    "I forgive you." He hissed, making sure the sympathy was coming his way.

    Later, when I was in the hall, I noticed bits and pieces of the card littered about the floor, with a note on my locker that called me queer, and that my sister still was not safe.

    Unfortunately for Tyler, I beat the ever loving crap out of him every day since then, until his mother finally removed him from the school altogether. My mother was extremely displeased, my father out for another tour of duty.

    It wasn't until my first year at Harvest Hillside Union High School that I finally saw him again. I put the thought in my head that I wanted to be a soldier, like him, fighting for the UNSC, where at least some of my actions would be recognized.

    But as the years passed on, my true passion for the stage appeared, and the idea of being a military man were pushed aside. About four years into High School, when I was in 10th grade, Angel joined the Drama Club. We rekindled our friendship from Elementary school, but I was cautious. I had learned what love was, and at the time I was quite the unsightly fellow. In fact, I was quite a bit over-weight, despite my father's constant protest.

    Afraid of what she thought of me, I let it pass, instead allowing for our friendship to continue as such. That was when I learned that Acting was the profession that she aimed to pursue, and I wanted to be there right beside her. But, as you might be able to guess, that idea stopped short. I absolutely hated city life, and still do today. But that was where she wanted to be, she wanted to go to Earth, and act on Broadway.

    My ideas finally came to a stand-still, I didn't know what I wanted. I thought that I could perhaps convince her to stick around for a while, in return she could convince me to go to the city. But it was for naught. It was our Senior year in High-School when I finally got the nerve to ask her out.

    I remember the look on her face, the cute smile. She nodded, agreeing to my idea. For once in my life, something was looking up! About ten months into our relationship, however, she met up with me for dinner at the local restaurant.

    "I'm going to school on Earth." She frowned, handing me a letter. "You were not accepted."

    I paused, I knew my options, let her go and live her life, or hold her back and make her miss out on her dreams. I patted her on the hand, I wasn't ready to give her up yet.

    "When do you have to go?" I asked.

    "After the Musical." She replied, looking away.

    "Please, stay around for a while?" I asked, as she shook her head, walking away from the table.

    I sat there until closing, when one of the waiters impatiently asked me to leave. I walked down the dark dirt road, back to my country-side home in the Farmlands. My mother, who herself was unable to provide for us anymore, was busy doing her usual thing; sleep. My other siblings, for the most part, were either at a friends house, or away doing something else.

    Sean contacted me right after, telling me that he was headed for a job on Reach, and that we might not see each other again for quite some time. I nodded, my heart broken, and my old feelings of depression seeping back to me.

    It was only a month later, when our production of a 20th century musical 'Chicago' went on stage. I played Amos Hart, the part coincidentally matching my entire life, summed into his one song: Mister Cellophane *link <--*.

    Normally I didn't sing, and had avoided it for the last six years of my life. But when I stood in front of that audience, and they cheered for me finally breaking my comfort zone, things finally started to look up again. The show ended, and my last performance in High School was finally over.

    During the cast party, Angel and I never looked at each other for most of the night, until a few men in ODST armor stood before me, their helmets off, and their heads hung low.

    "We're sorry, Bruce Flynn's Pelican went down in action today." The man said, holding out a pair of dog tags. "We tried to contact your mother, but she hasn't answered the phone."

    My brothers had already told me the news about Mom, right before the performance. I didn't have time to mourn until just now, and now even my father was gone. Everyone at the party sat there, good friends of mine. They tried to come over to me, even my director. But I only gripped onto the tags, thinking to myself about everything wrong that was going on in my life. I looked over to Angel, who looked at me with great concern.

    Melody stood before me, a bitch as ever, and got right in my face.

    "You're not stopping her from pursuing her dream. Do everyone a favor and get the fuck out of here. She doesn't love you."

    I took the hint, and I walked out the door.
    Database Director

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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 5th 2013, 7:38 pm

    Chapter 3:

    "Well I never did return to the school for Graduation." I growled, clenching my fists. "You know the rest."

    "I'm sorry sir." Pvt. Williams stammered. "I never meant anything by it Lieutenant."

    "I'm just curious, whatever happened to Angel?" Lance Corporal Langdon asked.

    "She went on to be a famous Broadway star. You all know 'Ms. Dawn', right?"

    "Wait, you went to school, and DATED THE 'MS. DAWN?!" Langdon replied, dumbstruck.

    "Yep. Now I don't want to talk about it anymore." I bark. "I want you two in lights out."

    "Got another fight with the Innies tomorrow?" Langdon asked.

    "Same shit everyday, now move it." I hissed, walking into my quarters.

    Over the years, I had become more bitter, and it showed. I was no longer the push-over that had made my life miserable, and now I was an ODST, serving in the UNSC.


    "We need to do something special for him." Williams replied. "He's obviously very troubled."

    "What exactly CAN we do?" Langdon scoffed. "Bring Ms. Dawn here?"

    Williams snapped his fingers, grinning excitedly.

    "That's exactly what we'll do." Williams said, pulling up her fan-page on his datapad.

    "Soldier serving on Harvest. Know a good friend of yours, needs to see you urgently, can you spare some fans a visit?" Williams said as he typed along.

    " Sure ;P . "

    Williams fist pumped, as Langdon stared in awe at the tiny man.

    "Williams, you never cease to surprise me." Langdon snorted, turning off the lights.

    It was the next morning, and I yawned as I stood from my bed, the lights peeking in from the automatic shutters. Walking over to the mirror, I gave myself a quick shave, buzzed my hair down, and brushed my teeth. My ear twitched for a second, I thought I could hear women's laughter in the other room.

    I opened the door, shirtless and in my combat pants, into the main area of the barracks. There she was, Angel, sitting there, giggling alongside Williams and Langdon.

    "This is the friend of mine?" Angel asked, looking at me with a puzzled expression. "He doesn't look all that familiar to me."

    My heart, frozen as it was over the years, was again shattered once more.

    "You need to go." I growl, as the others gave me a puzzled look. "My men and I have important business to attend to. I'm sorry for the quick visit, but I need you to get the fuck out- now"

    "Well excuse me." She said, standing, as her wrist watch beeped, tears coming to her eyes. "If I may just do one last thing before I go?"

    The other two nodded rapidly, as I held my icy gaze. She produced an old fashioned computer thumb-stick from her purse, plugging it into our UNSC display. The visual was fuzzy for a moment, as the familiar crappy camera work of someone in an audience appeared before us. I sat on the couch, looking at the figure dressed in a long overcoat, a fancy, very old fashioned hat, and his clown shoes. I silently gasped, as I realized the figure on the screen was me.

    Tears poured down Angel's cheeks as she watched the younger me sing me woes, masking them with the song. Williams offered her a handkerchief, the remainder of us mesmerized by the screen.

    "Never- even- knooooooooooow!" My younger self paused, on his knees, the tears welling in his eyes. "I'm there..."

    When the number finished, she ejected the stick, placing it back into her purse.

    "Ms. Dawn." Langdon asked. "What was that about?"

    "It was a good friend of mine, finally breaking his fear of singing, all because I was the one that convinced him to sing." She sobbed for a second. "He disappeared shortly after the production, and I haven't seen him since."

    "That's very touching doll." I growl. "But you need to get out of here."

    "What have I done to offend you?!" She barked back at me, her eyes red and puffy. "Have you no heart?!"

    "I had one, but like many of the things in my life, it left me for something better." I reply bluntly, turning on my heels and storming off into my quarters. She started to follow me, as I slammed the door shut behind me.

    I stood on the other side of the door, breathing heavily. I was pissed, there was no doubt about that. About what though, I wasn't sure, the nerve of my men, who tried to finally make me happy, or Melody, who had fed me a lie that Angel didn't care about me.

    Placing an ear to the door, I heard her sobbing on the other side.

    "Whoever that friend is on the other side of the door, he's clearly forgotten about me." Angel said to Williams. "Thanks for trying, and I'm sorry I was a bother to you."

    "I insist you go in there ma'am." Langdon replied. "Cellophane isn't himself, he needs this."

    "Cellophane?" She asked, turning to my door.

    I slapped myself on the forehead. When I joined the ODSTs, I was given a nickname that I kept ever since that fateful day: Mister Cellophane.

    I pulled my tags off, throwing them at the wall, my Father's mingled among mine, as I walked into my restroom. I heard my door swing open, someone walking over to my borough, where my tags had been thrown.

    I waited a second, until a knock disrupted me.

    "Billy." Angel said on the other side of the door. "I know it's you."

    "So what if it is." I snap. "No-one really cares for me."

    "How can you say that? I came here today in hopes that I would find you, and I did. I've loved you, I've always loved you, and I didn't get a chance to tell you that."

    "You're famous. You can find someone else." I replied. "I don't know who I pissed off to deserve this, but it's a thing. Get out of here, your friends won't accept us."

    "Melody was an Insurrectionist. She had it out for everyone, even me." Angel said. "I'm not leaving until you get out here."

    I sighed, opening the door, not expecting the hug I received.

    "You wouldn't believe how many of us missed you after you went missing." She said, as I felt a tear roll off her cheek. "Some of them even regretted what they did to you."

    I couldn't keep her around, karma had it out for me, and my destiny was not to be with her. I didn't want her in danger, either.

    "It's too late for us." I reply. "I've got priorities here."

    She released herself, looking at me with teary eyes. She nodded, accepting that we weren't going to be back together.

    "I'll-" She paused, another tear streaming down her cheek. "I'll prepare to go then."

    "It's for the best." I assured her. "C'mon, I'll walk you out to your ride, for old times sake."

    She sniffled, smiling like she had done in Kindergarten all those years ago.

    "I'd like that."

    I put on my armor, allowing her some time to talk to me, as I felt my heart slowly melting again. Finally, when she was all set to go, I opened the door for her, three military Warthogs lined up, ready to escort her. She pointed to the first one, as we walked over to it.

    Before any of us could blink, some deep blue piece of metal crashed down on the vehicle, as I threw her to the ground, shielding her from the explosion. Standing, Langdon, Williams, and I trained our weapons on the source.

    My heart stopped, it was an alien pod of some sort, similar to a SOIEV pod. The hatch opened, and a beast with four mandibles for a mouth stepped out, it's reptilian eyes staring the three of us down. Angel shrieked in fright, as us three ODSTs fired our weapons, the bullets glancing off of what appeared to be a shield system.

    In it's hand, a blade of pure energy formed, the beast bringing it up into a ready stance, Williams and I reloading our Assault Rifles.

    The Covenant had found Harvest.

    Almost forgot this was a Halo story, didn't you Razz ?

    Doctor Jensen
    Freelancer Operative

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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  Doctor Jensen on March 5th 2013, 8:04 pm

    I read this while listening to Crysis 2's soundtrack, which made it... very touching.
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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 5th 2013, 8:09 pm

    Chapter 4:

    Focusing our fire, the beast advanced towards Williams, who swung the butt of his rifle at the Elite, who swung it's sword. I flinched as the blade cut off the butt of the gun, along with Williams' left hand. Falling to the floor, Williams clutched the wound, as the Elite lifted him by the throat to it's eye sight.

    Holding the blade close to Williams' visor, the beast growled, it's putrid breath fogging the outside of his visor. Crouching low, I charged the beast, throwing the entirety of my weight onto it, throwing it off balance.

    I swung my right fist at it's jaw, the blow connecting. Swinging my left, I connected again before it head-butt me, dazing me considerably. I feel off of the giant, as it stood. Laying on my back, the area around me was blurry, and I felt like losing consciousness. I saw the flash of light of the sword. Crawling upwards, the beast had made it's way towards Angel.

    I stood, uneasily, charging towards the Elite once more. Grabbing it by the mandible, I took my knife and slashed it on the brittle muscle, cutting the mandible off completely. It roared in anger, kicking me clear in the stomach, as Williams used his pistol, and Langdon his Assault Rifle, to lower it's shields, until they popped. I stood again, feeling like I was going to hurl. Before we could reload, the beast ran off.

    "COWARD!" Williams taunted, waving his stump arm at the beast. "Take my hand and run like a coward!"

    I turned to Angel, who shivered in fear. Holding out my hand, she smiled, taking it. Hugging me once more, I gripped a little tighter, maybe my years in the service were coming to an end. Maybe we could be happy together.

    I lead her to one of the two remaining Warthogs. Langdon took the Driver's seat, Angel took the passengers, and Williams bravely took the Machine Gun in the back. I took the Warthog in the back, following close behind.

    Our two vehicles worked their way across the Farmlands, as I passed my childhood home. Looking over to it, I knew that my father and my mother, despite the little time they spent with me, were proud of me, ready for me to finally be happy.

    Suddenly, a plume of blue and purple energy erupted from the road in front of Langdon's tire, as the energy melted the tire. Everyone was thrown off of the vehicle, as it flipped on it's side three times. Thankfully, neither member of the vehicle was seriously injured. I put on the brakes, the other Warthog was not going anywhere, but the turret was still good.

    I scanned the area, more of those Elites appeared, along with some short and stubby aliens, some bird-like, others not so. I turned to the others, hopping out of the driver's seat.

    "Sir, what are you doing?" Williams asked, as I approached Angel.

    "Doing what I need to do." I replied, ripping the tags off of my throat, handing them to her.

    She shook her head, handing them back to me, as the aliens drew closer. I hugged her, using the closeness to tie them around her neck like a necklace.

    "I can't ignore who I am anymore." I replied. "I am Mister Cellophane, and it's about damn time I get noticed."

    She sobbed, as I walked towards the wrecked Warthog, the other three loading into mine.

    "You don't need to do this!" She yelled.

    "If I don't, these things will just gun you down. I'm going to draw their fire." I said, hopping up onto the Machine Gun. " Angel- I always thought of you."

    "I love you." She whispered to herself, as Langdon and Williams saluted me, driving down the road.

    "I love you too." I whispered to myself, firing at the aliens, who fired back at me.

    Grabbing the C4 out of my pouch, I primed the plastic explosive and attached it to the front of the vehicle. I cringed, the plasma splashing against my armor, melting the metal to my undersuit, which in turn melted to my skin. Screaming in agony, I still continued to fire, as I watched the Warthog finally disappear from view.

    Turning back to the Covenant troopers, I thought back to the entirety of my life. Troy, Angel, and I. Tyler, Zach, and Dylan. The months Angel and I spent together, and Cellophane, the phrase that matched me most.

    "Cellophan-" I grunt, the pain becoming to much. "Mister Cellophane, shoulda been my name, Mister Cellophane."

    I coughed, blood filling the inside of my visor, as the burns started to numb, my body shutting down slowly.

    "'cause you can look right through me- walk right by me..." I gasped one last time, as I fell off of the turret. "And never know... I'm... there."

    In my final act of defiance, I pulled out my detonator, and pull the plunger, the darkness finally taking hold of me.


    Angel's eyes welled up with tears as she watched from the safety of her Pelican drop-ship. The Warthog exploded, taking the remainder of the Covenant troopers out with it.

    She would see to it that Billy was no longer Mister Cellophane, but rather a well reknown hero.

    The one Billy had called Williams turned to her, placing his hand on her back, rubbing lightly as a way to comfort her. That was when she finally snapped, the tears flowing out of her eyes like a river.

    "This is Spartan Red team to all UNSC Forces. We have just made land-fall. Moving to assist where needed"

    "This is Captain Ford of the UNSC Breaking the Ice . I have Sierra-115 on board. Dear god Ensign, run a scan, is there anyone left in the Farmlands?"

    "Negative sir. It's just dust and echoes."
    dragon of darkness

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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  dragon of darkness on March 5th 2013, 8:41 pm

    shit, that touches my heart. can i use cellphane in one of my stories not as a person as a tall in my story
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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  Manny on March 5th 2013, 9:37 pm

    I cried.

    Well no, not really but it was touching. And yes, I did almost forget it was a Halo story.

    Moral of the story? The Covenant sure know how to cock block a guy.
    Database Director

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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  Shad0wChas3r on March 9th 2013, 10:26 pm

    The angel of hope wrote:shit, that touches my heart. can i use cellphane in one of my stories not as a person as a tall in my story

    I never answered your question. If you choose to, you may use Cellophane as a tale in your story.
    dragon of darkness

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    Re: Dust and Echoes

    Post  dragon of darkness on March 9th 2013, 10:27 pm

    tanks shadow

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    Re: Dust and Echoes

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