She wakes with a start. Her heart pounds a thousand times per second. She lies in sweat drenched sheets. It takes hours before she can breathe normally again, hours before the rhythmic drumming lulls her back to sleep. She dreamt of the rushing, unforgiving waves that relentlessly pulled her underwater. Sleep has become nothing but a dreaded cold cauldron she’s forced to drown in each night. But this time the scenario of the dream changed: The waves weren’t rushing towards her. They only gave a slight push, enough to knock the kid off her feet in the deep center of the lake. Just then she felt two strong arms pulling her up and back to land. Once she got on shore, she had a good view of who her savior was. He looked to be about six years old and had a well built stature for his young age. She had seen him around the area before.
He gave her a onceover for any wounds she might have gained from the ordeal. Upon affirming she was alright, he nodded and ran off. Disoriented at first, she quickly caught her breath and ran after him. It felt like miles before they stopped, and by then it dusk had passed was dark enough to see every star in their little galaxy. The boy smiled at her and proceeded to lie down in the grassy field. She followed suit.
“You ever wonder what’s up there?” he finally spoke.
“Like what?” she replied with curiosity
“Maybe someone up there is wondering what it’s like here.”
“I guess… Do you think we’ll ever meet them?”
“I hope so… Don’t you?”
A light breeze kicks in and the boy begins to shiver from his damp clothing.
Blinding search lights glare their way into the high grass field.
“Time to go,” she whispers.
Battle of Mombasa
Command Post adjacent to Beria Plaza
“Sometimes I wonder if he’s up there,” the chicken scratch writing on the back of the picture in her hand read.
Looming over was a Spartan about to reprimand the lieutenant on bringing personal items to a combat zone. But he stops himself, recognizing the image.
She notices him, but not who he is.
“That’s John and I at Lake Gusev. We grew up on Eridanus II. It wasn’t long after he saved my life when he “died.” As silly as it is, I still keep him to the promise he made,” she explained to the seven foot man in armor.
And as much as he wanted to tell her, he repressed the flood of memories and maintained the façade of an unyielding machine.
Not even years later, another woman’s words reign true,
“Don’t make a girl a promise, if you know you can’t keep it.”
Credit for Halo 3 “Kids” title and trailer dialogue goes to its rightful owner (s).