Chapter V – Transmission Received
The marine was fighting his way across a city block, Imps and Hell Knights attacked from the centre of a three-way intersection, Cacodemons floated above. He confidently marched towards them, neatly dodging their projectile attacks. Ka-Boom. The Imp’s spiked arm was blown off at the elbow, after dodging a blob of plasma he fired his twin barrelled shotgun into the face of one of the Hell Knights, it went down with a thud. The Lost Souls screeched toward him and the cacodemons descended, he ducked as they swooped in and he shattered several with a single shot from the shotgun. The marine turned and kicked another Imp in the chest, sending it crashing into rubble. The furious Hell Knights roared and stomped toward him, he continued firing, the bloated Cacodemons were sent reeling under the force of the marines attack. He popped the cap on an HE grenade and ran to the other side of the block. He tossed the grenade in a wide arc toward the remaining Hell Knights. They roared and tried to swat the bomb away but was instantly consumed in a large implosion of unstable plasma. He had made his way to safety when a call came over his radio unit. The frantic call came from an Army Commander, Naomi Thompson, she was leading a group of survivors. They found an ultra frequency transmitter in an abandoned military vehicle from which they managed the call. They were in need of evacuation, the marine explained that he was close by a spaceport terminal. Thompson asked him to take her high security command codes and use them to access the largest ship he could find there. He agreed to make the rescue.
The marine made his way to a service station where he found an unlocked mack-truck with the keys on the seat, a couple of the power chargers were still working. He charged the plasma cells. A couple of former humans stumbled out of the station’s store and staggered weakly toward the marine. He casually shot one and ignored the other, he hung up the nozzle and walked over to the cabin of the truck. The former human, following behind, it slammed into the trucks door just as the marine pulled it shut, fell over as the truck rolled away. It tried to get up but was struck by the trucks tire, its head was crushed under the wheel. He sped off in the truck toward the spaceport, crushing demons as he went.
Kronos was in his office reading the report from the recent accident. Despite his eccentricities, he respected Dr. White and hoped the situation would resolve itself. The test chamber was still being sterilized from the last experiment. He continued to read the stream of reports from across the colony, the usual stuff like advancements to the plasma cells, bio-force energy units and the slow accumulation of information about the aliens and the ancient Mars Civilization. He was reading an article about a recently discovered artifact, though not as impressive as the relics that have already been found, it was still endlessly fascinating. The computer voice interrupted.
“Test chamber alpha is ready to resume testing, doctor” it said.
He touched the holographic symbol for program Charlie and fed new orders into the chain of command within the simulation. The test subject was lounging in the stations cafeteria, enjoying a simulated soda. The stations P.A. System issued the orders for the marine to report to the hangar bay. He tossed out the soda can and made his way to the monorail. The Doctor watched as he boarded the train and then left the office. He traveled the spotless hallway and stepped into the room.
“Status?” Kronos asked.
“Simulation will terminate in approximately one hundred and seventy-six seconds, subject’s condition is well within testing parameters” Dr Campbell said.
Dr. Mason was busy monitoring the containment field generators for the tiniest chink in it’s armour. Despite recent accidents, Kronos trusted Mason. The floor panels parted and another capsule ascended, it opened revealing another space marine in the same white reflective armour. The hardware detached from the test subject and slipped under the floor.
“Thirty seconds, sir” Campbell says.
The lead researcher watched Dr. Campbell’s terminal from behind.
“Fifteen… ten seconds… three, two, one”
The marine promptly came to life and began casually walking through the replica.
“Another excellent transfer, Doctor” said Kronos dryly.
Campbell, smiling, nodded his thanks. Kronos stood with a straight posture as he stared down at the test subject.
“Mason, localize level two portal traffic” Kronos says casually. Mason turned and smiled devilishly as he acknowledged, punching in the sequence without looking at his terminal. The test subject was much like the one previously experimented on, just a bit more experienced in combat.
The teleport energy danced through the air, the symbols drew themselves on the floor and whispering was heard before several Imps teleported into the room. Swiftly, the marine drew his pistol and began firing into their skulls. He stepped to the right dropping one demon at a time with precise aim. The marine inched toward the security locker, demons continued to appear from thin air. He roundhouse kicked a large-jawed demon and it collapsed to the floor. Still firing, he passed his suits ID chip over the lockers scanning pad; The locker recognized his ID and swiftly opened with a quiet whoosh.
The smoking pistol fell to the ground, he grabbed the plasma rifle. He spun and shot a diagonal line of plasma into the bodies of close-by Imps, he fired again and then rolled for cover, more monsters appeared from the green portals. He held the trigger and let a flood of plasma burn them to a crisp. Smoke was building within the replica. A Hell Knight appeared and roared fiercely, the marine shot its big head to ashes. More Imps appeared, tossing fireballs. Another Hell Knight appeared and got caught in the cross-fire of Imp fireballs. The enraged Hell Knight threw green energy at the Imps, one of them caught the green energy in the chest, it grotesquely melted on impact. The marine was blasting monsters from the rapidly opening portals, the Hell Knight grabbed a large-jawed demon and tore it’s head off and hurled toward the marine, he shot it out of the air.
“Decrease rate of fire by twenty-five percent” said Kronos. The marine was behind a column of cables, reloading the rifle. He popped out to make a quick attack, the rifle sputtered slower fire. “What the…?” The marine cried. He continued burning Imps and Demons but they drew closer with the slight advantage. The marine delivered another kick to an Imp, it fell to the ground as he continued firing plasma in wide arcs. Smoke fogged up the hangar from the demons plasma-burnt flesh.
“Decrease space by thirty percent” ordered Kronos. Mason nodded and entered the command into his terminal. Within the replica hangar, steel sheets slammed into the floor from the ceiling, blocking off portions of the area.
“Holy Jesus” the marine cried.
“Level four” commanded Kronos. The portals began opening with more frequency, Cacodemons suddenly appeared, spitting balls of lightning. As the marine jumped out of the way, the aliens inched closer. He emptied the rest of the rifles magazine, burning the Cacodemon to smoking chunks, then spun wildly and punched an Imp and round housed a demon. He went to change his magazine, but a demon sank it’s teeth into the marine’s upper left arm and tore it off.
The demon gnawed the detached member savagely. The marine screamed, the shock forced him to squeeze the trigger, sending streams of plasma harmlessly into the walls. His wound sprayed blood, painting the hangar in red. A fireball hit him in the visor. A Cacodemon hovered silently from behind and bit off the marine’s head. His neck splashed blood as he sank to his knees and collapsed, a big red puddle of blood spilled onto the floor. The aliens feasted on his disgraced remains. The gruesome noises echoed through the replica.