I had to get the generator running. A power cable plugged into the switch led me to a dilapidated shack over by a rocky outcropping. I noticed that someone had left a pack of fresh Energizer® batteries and two signal flares inside. I picked them up.

I pulled on the generator cord several times and the machine sputtered to life. With the power restored, I turned back towards the gate again, noticing that light on the switch had turned from red to green. But a shrill noise signaled that my journey back would not be without an enemy encounter.

The Taken came at me as they usually did: in a group of three, with two weaker ones to the sides and a larger tank charging at me head-on. As I strafed to the left and right to avoid their ranged attacks, I nearly expended all of the batteries I had just picked up trying to shine away the darkness in their bodies. But it was fine because I still had seventeen more.

I took aim at the first weak one and fired twice with the revolver, then focused on the second one and did the same. I tried to dodge the tank’s running charge but missed the timing and took a direct hit from his hand axe. The world lost some of its color. I turned around, reloading my revolver at the same time, and quickly put six bullets into him.

After he disappeared, I started on my way to the gate again.

Unfortunately, I had relaxed too soon. Thinking I was safe, I had let my guard down. Before I knew it, four more Taken now surrounded me. They were too close, blocking any escape, ready to kill me. I pulled out a flashbang grenade as fast as I could.

Brilliant white light flooded the area, burning away the Dark Presence and saving me from certain death. I was relieved. As the twisted forms evaporated into slivers of light, I realized that my kill count with the flashbang had reached fifty. A sense of achievement washed over me.