Chapter II – Corporate Tentacles
High above the carnage and destruction a man watches the marine’s movements from a UAC moon base. That latest trip through a portal was picked up by the corporation’s scanning equipment. A live feed of the marine’s progress was displayed in a hovering holographic monitor. Dr. Victor Kronos, lead researcher at Bravo-31 science labs of the moon colony, gestured one of the icons of his holo-terminal to signal his superior. A moment later, the voice channel opened.
“Yes, Victor?” The voice over the channel was that of the Chief Administrator for the colony, Dr. Rupert Nexson.
“The missing marine has reappeared, I’m sending you his coordinates now.” said Kronos. Nexson took a moment to examine the evidence for himself.
“I’m surprised to say the least” he said, “Who knows what hell he’s been through in the time that passed since the accident, set the scanners to constantly monitor the subject. Thats all we can do right now” Nexson says.
“Yes, sir” Kronos replied. He closed the channel and leaned back in his chair and watched the marine for another moment before he rose and headed to the observation post of their latest experiment.
The observation room had eight windows tinted black from the outside, three work tables each with a throne-like chair and a holo-terminal. The room was situated on the roof of a replica hangar bay of the Phobos science station. It has a full 360° of observation from its top centre view. Dr. Kronos strode confidently into the room and his colleagues turned to hear what he would say. They had darkened features on their faces, shadows slid across their skin in an ominous and frightening fashion.
“Status?” The head researcher asked.
“Conditions are optimal, sir” hissed Dr. Campbell.
“We’ve been authorized to test our systems on level seven portal activity. Activate containment fields and initiate”. The other researcher, Dr. Mason acknowledged, his hands danced across the controls of his terminal in a well rehearsed movement.
An alarm sounded a long note and red spinning warning lights illuminated the experimentation room.
“Alarm. Gateway activity imminent. This is not a drill. Do not attempt to enter the testing area until experiment is neutralized. Portal activation in T-minus fifteen seconds” said the lab’s computer with a cheerful female voice. “Gateway activation in five, four, three, two, one.”
A powerful vibration filled the halls of the quiet testing area, demonic whispering came over the speakers in the observation room. Bands of green light danced in the air of the testing chamber and drew out demonic symbols on the floor, too many to count. Suddenly, a brilliant flash of radiating energy flooded the area, the scientists were forced to shield their eyes as aliens of every classification materialized within the replica. They were roaring with fury and searching for anything to satisfy their rage.
“The equipment is stable, sir” said Dr. Mason.
“Sustain these conditions” replied Kronos.
Soon the beasts turned on each other starting to claw, bite and burn one another. A baron of hell was ripping its fellow hell-spawn to ribbons of bloody flesh. The Baron was soon taken down by a group of large-jawed demons, they feasted noisily on it’s splattered remains. An arch-vile clasped it’s hands together and shot them outward at a group of demons,they exploded into fiery chunks of stinking flesh. Flying skull monsters caught the bits of meat as they flew through the air. Fireballs began to hit the windows of the observation room, the scientists watched impassively. More monsters took interest in the observation post. The Lost Souls rammed into it over and over until they cracked open.
“Shut down portal emitters and sterilize the chamber” Kronos says, after another moment of observation. Dr. Campbell nodded and entered a few commands on his terminal.
“Liquefaction of organic mass is now in progress” came the voice of the computer. Panels in the walls slid away revealing chutes from which poured green acid. The corrosive liquid splashed along the hoofs of the aliens, they screamed in pain as they melted into the acid-bath. They struggled and roared frantically until they sank down to their waist and died. Flesh melted away instantly and left the bones floating at the surface which soon began to dissolve and sink into the fleshy soup. The sizzling acid whirlpooled around the floor as it was carefully flushed away along with the boiled remains of the demons. Robotic arms descended from the ceiling and hosed down the area to prepare for the next stage of testing.
Dr. Kronos turned to Mason “Fluctuations”? he asked.
“The energy levels peaked at 1.6 above accepted levels, I am going to scrutinize the logs and keep you posted”
“Hmmm, very good,” replied Kronos “send these results and any new data you come up with to Central Intel , the Administrator will be pleased by these results”
“Yes, sir” said Mason.
Kronos regarded Campbell, “Monitor alpha, sierra, five” he said, Campbell acknowledged. The two researchers busied themselves at their terminals while Kronos left the lab and headed to his private office.
The office was cramped but modern, it had a large window that showcased a view of the scorched Earth and the many craters of the moon. He sat down at the glass desk and regarded his terminal. He brought up the comm channel on his terminal and called the administrative division, soon the administrator’s voice filled the small office.
“I was monitoring your experiment, Kronos. I can honestly say, it would have been hard to resist. The success of this experiment authorizes me to advance testing to stage five” said Nexson.
“What will become of the test subjects for the other projects?” replied Kronos. “Corporal Revok has need of those individuals, they are already being transferred” Nexson explains.
“I understand” Victor replies.
“See to it that you understand this, the next phase of testing is to start within the hour. Any objections?” Nexson asks.
“No, sir” replied Kronos.
“Bring the experiment data to the meeting tomorrow, Nexson out” the Administrator says as he ends the call and his image melted from the holo-monitor.
The channel closed and Kronos stabbed a finger at an icon on the holo-monitor, it spun while expanding to the full scope of the monitor. The program was titled ‘Advanced Space-Marine Program: Delta’ The program displayed several marines in stasis and interacting with a virtual simulation of the alien-occupied Phobos science station before the teleporter accident occurred. The marines vital and neural signs were cataloged digitally on the monitor. Kronos entered a few commands each followed by his personal authorization. The commands initiated a series of injections to prepare a subject for extraction from stasis.