Chapter 5 – The Fall
AUTOMATED EMERGENCY COMMAND IS NOW ONLINE
POWER INTERRUPTION DETECTED
EMERGENCY POWER STATUS: ONLINE
SENDING REQUEST TO CENTRAL COMPUTER
COMMAND: LAUNCH SEQUENCE 0090
SEQUENCE HAS BEGUN; ALL SYSTEMS OK
SCANNING MODE IN PROGRESS
SUBJECT STATUS: NORMAL
SUSPENDED ANIMATION STATUS: STABLE
COMMAND: LAUNCH SEQUENCE 0099
SUBJECT REVIVAL IS NOW IN PROGRESS
Aboard the CSV Navigator, William Banks and Rupert Nexson were entering the spacious atrium, coming back from the Sub-Space Parlour. Several store fronts managed by holographic staff lined the curved walls, offering cuisine and entertainment. The centre of the area had a large, bustling seating area. Quiet, casual chatter accompanied by light violin music filled the air. The two men strode at a brisk pace.
“Those repulsive, treacherous cockroaches! Their insanity is going to get us all killed” Nexson growls, exclaiming his indignation.
“I’m sorry, Rupert. They have an airtight case” comments Banks with a sunken expression.
They enter the spacious seating area and join Kronos and Carmichael at a table hugged with booth seating.
“What’s happening? Did you reach them?” Carmichael asks as they sank into the chestnut coloured cushions.
“Yes, we are protected for now. However, the Paranormal Division has issued us an assignment” William Banks begins to explain with chords of renewed distress in his voice. “They want us to head to Phobos, back into the hornets nest, and secure specimens of the alien intruders for scientific study” he explains quietly.
“Is that even possible?” queries Carmichael.
“I’m sure that your estimation is as good as mine” Banks replies.
“It’s suicide” exclaims Kronos.
“If we refuse to cooperate, then our colleagues will throw us to the wolves. This is the only way for the Paranormal Division to save face with its private investors” explains Rupert.
Kronos runs his palm along his face.
“When do we leave?” asks Susan.
“Immediately” states Nexson. “We have been authorized to requisition a ship from the Navigator. We are to rendezvous with another vessel where we will get more information” he explains.
“Indeed. We have to get our affairs settled and leave at once” adds Banks.
Kronos and Carmichael shared the same look of concern.
“This is going to be extremely dangerous, as you’ve no doubt gathered, says Nexson, but we’re going to be far better equipped this time around”
“Emergency alert: reactor core failure” wailed the station’s public address system.
The marines were in the Computer Lab junction, getting close the Central Processing Facility.
“Well, that’s a bloody peach! What are we doing now?” asks a marine, as they stood in glow of the red emergency lights.
“Dammit! This mission is falling apart!” Martinez states, he removes his holo-disc and accesses the base’s reactor maintenance monitor. The disc obediently displayed the maintenance monitor for the MCR-700 reactor. The core was glowing red, notifications showed damage reports to critical hardware and core temperature warnings. He takes a moment to take in the exact extent of the damages.
“The reactor is finished. We have to complete what we can of this mission and abort, because the radiation will eventually leak” he explained. “We need to pick up the pace, let’s move”
They came to a sealed air-lock door, Martinez passes his armour’s embedded ID chip over the scanning plate.
“Authorization accepted. Welcome to the Central Processing Facility” the terminal chirps as the huge doors split and disappeared into the floor and ceiling.
The beams of their flashlights reveal a dark wide hallway with private offices along the walls. The offices had glass walls and doors, holding a couple chairs, a spotless desk and a cabinet, the office walls were creamy white. The hall had a long carpet with white trimmed edges and a blue pigment between. Continuing their way to the Data Storage Vault, they travelled the hall for some time when a shadowy form wearing a lab coat emerged from a office and quickly disappeared into a wide intersecting passage.
“Hey, you! Stop!” Martinez shouts into the distance, but a vacuum of silence was the only reply.
Martinez broke the eerie silence, “I’m not seeing things, am I?” he asks.
“Negative, sir. I saw it, too” replies a marine.
The marines pursue the figure and stop at the passage. Martinez grabs a electronic flare, switches it on and arcs it into the dark area before them. The brilliant illumination of the flare reveals several figures stalking the spacious area. The darkened figures slowly turn their heads toward the squad, revealing their pitch black eyes.
“What in tarnation?” Martinez exclaims with notes of disbelief in his voice.
A whizzing piece of metal flies past Martinez’s head. The former humans stepped towards the marines, they were wielding glistening surgical knives. Another thrown knife spins towards them and Martinez shoots it out of the air with a quick burst, which also strikes a former human. The other possessed scientists made no reaction to their colleague’s demise. The plasma burned through its skull and it collapsed to the ground.
“Sarge, they’re all fucked up” a marine exclaims in disbelief.
“Stop! Drop your weapons, now!” Martinez commands.
The former humans staggered closer.
“This is a rescue operation” Martinez shouts, alien groaning emerged from the group.
“Mortals” came a dry, tortured voice.
Alarm grips Martinez’s mind as a former humans full grotesque facade breaks the red coloured emergency lights. Its face was a warped menacing satire, madness was bursting from its eyes.
“Alright, forget this, these freaks are toast. Open fire” he says coldly.
His squad voiced no protest. Plasma illuminated the wide corridor, the flashes of light reveals blood splatter dripping from the walls and torn corpses bleeding out on the floor. They burned gaping smouldering wounds into the former scientists and they collapsed into smoking twisted heaps.
Martinez reaches for his ultra-frequency transmitter and finds the display black and unresponsive. He stared dumbstruck at the broken transmitter. This was never supposed to be a possibility, not with present-day military hardware. A marine screams and hits the floor, then is dragged into the darkness by an invisible force. Green energy erupts and a horde of tall, hulking aliens teleport around the marines. Time seemed to slow as Martinez took in the malevolent sight. Aliens surrounded them, and they were much larger than any they had encountered before.
“Fire” he commands loudly, more aliens were teleporting into the area before he could finish voicing the single-syllable command.
The marines devastated the first wave and blobs of acid were hurled by the next. Another wave of teleporting demons arrives, the rasping energetic sound was like that of a nail in their coffins, a sinister moaning voice is heard over the deadly exchange.
“Spread out” Martinez commands.
The marines spring to evade and quickly resume firing. A blob of searing acid smacks into a squad mate’s helmet and begins devouring the surface and burns straight through the marine’s skull. The screaming was horrific, but the rest of the marines would face the same fate if they dared yield from their combat. The station’s module sector began groaning from some force applying stress to the structure. The demons drew closer, a perimeter of smoking charred pieces and ash were all that separated them from the marines. Large jawed demons charged from the latest teleporting arrivals and demanded priority as their sharp fangs drew closer. They fired straight through the demons and burned through the Hell Knights behind them.
“Throw your grenades” Martinez commands.
Holding their triggers, they each threw a grenade into the air, followed by another volley. Loud blasts sends severed alien limbs sailing. The area was clearing, but more demons were charging. Behind them, a completely foreign abomination appeared from the green energy. Two tall skeletal demons with shoulder-mounted hardware spawned, they lock their eyes on the squad of marines and screech loudly. They fired a dual projectile from their shoulder-mounts, the last thing Martinez would remember is being caught in the explosion when the rockets struck their streams of plasma.