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NiGHTMARE

Alternity

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I just found this story on my hard drive, and decided to share it with you all. Please bear in mind that was written something like eight years ago, and so is far from being my best work.

It's the first ever background story I wrote for my Doom project Paradox, which at the time was going to be called Alternity. Absolutely none of the events in this story remain in the current Paradox plot ;)

Alternity

It started with an accident.

The UAC had been working towards perfecting a device known as the dimensional gateway, for years. If the scientists could ever get them working, the gateways would revolutionise travel, for they would allow virtually instantaneous travel across vast distances in space. Unfortunately, the project was significantly delayed when many of the projects' senior scientists were killed in a shuttle accident en route to Deimos from its' sister moon Phobos. Eventually it was decided that the project, which is now rumoured to have been secretly funded by the military, should be put on hold. The giant corporation began to focus on other 'areas of interest'.

Seven years after the project was all but scrapped, a deep space UAC expedition unearthed what appeared to be the remains of a highly advanced alien civilisation. Evidence of alien life was not a new discovery, but evidence of INTELLIGENT alien life most certainly was. The UAC quickly sent all the scientific personnel it could spare to investigate the planet, which we now know as Omega Theta 2. It wasn't long before the scientists began to discover highly advanced technology all over the new world. They were overjoyed with their discoveries, for they knew the new technology would allow huge leaps forwards in mankind's knowledge in all kinds of fields. The UAC beraucrats were overjoyed too, but for a difference reason. This kind of technology would mean serious profits. Once the corporation's profits from all this new technology began to decrease, they quickly abandoned the planet.

A small civilian team arrived almost as soon as the UAC relinquished their claim on the planet. This team's intent was rather different than that of the greedy corporation bureaucrates. They were made up of archaeologists and historians, people who were interested in finding out what had happened to the inhabitants of this world, rather than stealing their technology. The team decided to focus their efforts on the capital city. While many of the surface buildings had been ransacked by the UAC, they quickly discovered a complex series of tunnels below the surface, filled with all kinds of libraries, temples and other miscellaneous chambers. It was here they discovered it, hidden within a long-forgotten chamber: a fully functional dimensional gateway.

The scientists working on the gateway project back on Phobos and Deimos hurried back to Omega Theta 2. After a length series of negotations (the financial details were never disclosed, but the amount of money they paid out was likely to have been in the tens of millions) with the civilians, the UAC got their hands on the alien gateway. Although slightly damaged, the gateway was brought to Phobos, where the scientists wasted no time in disassembling it, eager to discover how exactly how it worked. Perhaps they could use it finally get their own gateways to work.


Three years later...

Test objects were being regularly sent through the UAC's Phobos and Deimos gateways, as they had been for several months. They never reached the other side. In desperation, the UAC officials, who had begun to regret spending so much of their money on what now looked to be a worthless artifact, ordered their scientists to forget about their scientific training, and try using completely random settings on the equipment. The scientists obeyed, for although they knew it would have little chance of working, and may even have disastrous results, they had all heard stories of what happened to those UAC employees who disobeyed orders. After several weeks of random testing, a single test object arrived safely on the other side.

It was not long before the UAC ordered for "volunteers" to be sent through the Gateway (it is still unclear who these 'volunteers' were, but it is known that they weren't employees of the UAC). The 'volunteers' either never re-appeared, or came back insane wrecks, soon afterwards suffering a severe case of cranial implosion. Matching heads to bodies to send to the folks back home became a full time job.

In desperation, a lone scientist, Alec Jacobs, returned to the alien gateway that, while not exactly providing a breakthrough, had helped them so much in their efforts. It had been left in a darkened storage room some time ago, although someone had decided it would be best to re-assemble it before abandoning it. To Jacobs' immense suprise, the gateway was active... but wait, the dimensional vortex was starting to dissolve... With little hesitation, despite not knowing where it was set to go to, he ran through. After all, he quickly reasoned, perhaps he could find the people who made this thing, and convince them to help the UAC fix their own gateways.

After five days, he was declared missing, presumed dead.

Meanwhile, the Deimos and Phobos gateways continued to be worked on, with more and more deaths occuring. Then one day it began. Hideous creatures began to pour out of the UAC's gateways on both moons. Phobos was over-run, and Deimos simply disappeared out the sky. A crack team of UAC's finest marines were sent from their headquarters on Mars to deal with the threat, but even despite their alien enhanced weaponry, they were quickly slaughtered. It is said that their screams echoed around the halls of the Phobos base for days...

Unknown to any human but himself, Jacobs was not dead. Soon after stepping through the gateway, he was confronted by members of a race of alien beings. The aliens, whose name is unprintable, let alone actually pronouncable by a human, were bizarre beings, completely unlike anything on earth. They were not violent - in fact, as they explained to Jacobs, they had long ago become totally incapable of violence, and because of this, they needed his help.

They told him tales of an ancient enemy of theirs, the H'spwn - a race which was comprised of beings that seemed to be made up of pure evil and malevolence. One tale particularly intrigued Jacobs, for it concerned Omega Theta 2, the planet where the gateway which he had stepped through was been discovered. It had once been inhabited by beings much like humans, but then the H'spwn arrived, and the Omegans were completely wiped out within days. After much pleading by his alien hosts, Jacobs finally agreed to help them fight their enemy; it was the constant reminders that the H'spwn would eventually come after mankind that eventually wore him down.

Jacobs' hosts explained that they would need to greatly enhance his abilities for the intense battle that they knew was to come. This would require several extensive and somewhat dangerous procedures. Again he hesitated at first, but after learning that the attack on mankind had already begun, he insisted they should get underway without any further hesitation.

The aliens took great care to preserve his humanity - he was to be enhanced, not altered. And so it was that Alec Jacobs was transformed into what can only be described as the most physically and mentally advanced human in history. Even so, both he and his hosts had strong doubts over whether or not he would be successful...

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This is pretty good considering that you did it eight years ago. Some nice, original ideas, though imho, they don't all feel quite doomish.

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