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Hell's Viscerous Reaches II

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*Note: I strongly reccomend that you read "Hell's Viscerous Reaches" before reading this story.* http://www.doomworld.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=13668
It was clear that dwelling in this state of shock was going to be of no use. As if his mouth wished to mimick this thought, he uttered, "I've got to get going. Maybe I can get out of here -- maybe I can find an outpost something, someone." Over and over he told himself this, as though hearing a human voice could be enough to open a floodgate of relief over his stricken heart. With fear so tangible, he could hardly rouse himself to action. This trepidation was manifest in the environment that seemed so hostile, so inhuman...the screams were inhuman, the scent inhuman, even the very sight of this place was inhuman. As his vision cleared, he began picking up minute details, as he stood upon shaking, weary legs.

The crimson outcrops, plateaus, mountains, the lances of fiery marble that jutted out all around him were bleeding.

His mind was transfixed, his brain itself mesmerized by the ungodly marriage of flesh and stone. In the cracks and crags of the truculent stone, blood bubbled forth, a tenebrous hue of blackish-red spurting forth as if emerging from an arterial wound. To his left, about ten feet away, he heard an odd noise of moist flesh...As he stepped to the place of the emergent sound, the picture became clearer and he saw viscid, fetid-smelling intestines...bowels...emerging from a cleft in the vast promontory.

All of this, this abhorrent sight and swell that consumed his senses grasped him and flung him into the throes of illness yet again. Collapsing to his knees, he dry-heaved over and over, but his stomach would not yield. His mind, his body rejected this vile place and it's impure nature. However, when he had regained control of his legs, this episode had proven enough to rouse him to move, to leave.

His feet shuffled slowly, kicking up plumes of flesh-colored dust and small rocks, which remained suspended in the air longer than they should of, obeying laws of physics unlike any on earth. Hypnotized by the simple back-and-forth motion of one foot following the other, his eyes glazed over and his mind drifted away from the present, recalling the remaining moments before the razing of the base...
"Lieutenant Stromm, you will be escorting Captain Marbaruk to the central lab, so as to ensure his safety in this lockdown. No unnecessary stops will be made and you will take him to the lab, PDQ. Do you understand me?"

"Sir, general, Sir!"

"Good," General Cromwell muttered. "No mistakes. This is of utmost importance as the base is under a code red state of emergency."

Stromm reflexively saluted and watched as Marbaruk leisurely stepped out of the office, well-aware of his importance to the Delta Project. As soon as they had left the administration quarters, Stromm shouted at Marbaruk.

"I don't enjoy putting my ass on the line for you. You're going to hurry. Even if you are the general's pet officer, you'll have to wipe that smug grin off your face and get going. You have no idea what kind of shit is going down here!"

"Ah, excellency," Marbaruk's Iranian accent thick,"I understand far more than you realize..."

Stromm grimaced. "Just shut the hell up and come with me. If you're behind and you get killed, I'm not getting held accountable for your need to avoid breaking a sweat."

Stromm absolutely hated Marbaruk. In fact, he hated most of the science crew that Marbaruk was the chief engineer of. Even though he was a civilian at the base, not a military careerman, Marbaruk had been promoted quickly by General Cromwell and been privy to high-security, top-access files. He despised him for his easy breaks, his arrogance and the fact that he didn't understand the first thing about military protocol.

They were nearing the door of the central lab, he could see a crowd of people in lab coats accompanied by heavy infantry through the double-reinforced glass windows. Marbaruk shoved his way in front of Stromm as he bent over in front of the retinal scanner. Advancing his way through the crowd of scientists, Marbaruk stepped in front of one of the heavy infantry commandos and stabbed his finger at his chest.

"I was quite disposed when I got a summons to this place. Perhaps you will inform me of why I and my colleagues have been dragged here?!"

The commando only stared back coldly.

"Insolent grunt, I'll have you busted down to private before you can even get on your knees to suck my cock for forgiveness, you ill-mannered son of a dog!"

Without a word, the commando tightened his right glove and backhanded the man, sending him sprawling into a stainless steel cart of medical instruments. This, of course, sent the remaining lab workers into a frenzy. As the door closed behind Stromm, he stopped and looked behind him.

"You know your orders, as General Cromwell said," shouted the commando.

At that moment, all of the military men reached to their pack-holster and each drew out their SAFAC-issue plasma rifle. In moments, the glare and glow of ball lightening ceased. Even though Stromm could not hear the cries of the scientists, he could smell their smoldering flesh filtering through minute crevices in the door lining. As he got ready to leave the area, knowing he should not have seen that, Stromm tried to leave as quickly as he could, not glancing over his shoulder. Shortly, though, he felt a large, heavy hand on his back, halting him. He whirled around to see one of the commandos, nearly three inches from his face.

"You tell no one. If the general finds out you know, you'll be dead. And if you don't die, your wife and son will. I'm doing you a favor...now get the hell out of here!"

Without even acknowledging what he said, Stromm walk-ran as fast as he could back to the armoury for the 0400 military personnel meeting. His thoughts were dominated by what had just happened. Cromwell wouldn't kill those men without good cause. They're too valuable -- they had to have known something more than they should have. Or perhaps they've outlived their usefulness...What the fuck is going on here...?
...Adrien's mind shifted back to the present as he realized he was nearing a precipice with a nearby trail leading downward into the canyon that it bordered. His eyes squinted, straining to see a block of hazy figures that were at least two or so miles away -- the ash and dust was inhibiting his sight, so he unshouldered his pack and rummaged through it, looking for his X-Mag goggles. These were standard-issue light magnifying instruments for low-visibility environments, which is why they were given to all Mars military.

As he adjusted them, he looked to the spot his eyes had just a moment ago been trained on, but he could see nothing. Shit, he thought, have they, it, whatever it was spotted me? He waited a moment longer and as he did, figures came into view again as a puff of cinders and heavy smoke drifted away. Employing the zoom feature of his goggles, he saw one in particular, taller than the others...

It was skeletal almost, but it had a tight, light brown skin drawn across it's bony frame. The bulbous head had a horrifying, malicious look to it, which vaguely resembled a human's...but not quite. It stalked over to what appeared to be...a marine? A marine was kneeling before it, held by two humanoid figures with a dark brown and leathery, blemish-covered skin. Viscious-looking spikes protruded on the shoulders, chest and legs. The marine was shuddering, broken down with tears...was he going to be executed? Stromm's fist tightened involuntarily, consumed with rage.

The light brown figure walked up to the marine and held the man's head up roughly with it's left hand. For a moment, nothing happened -- the figured appeared to be simply gazing at him. He then let go and the marine stood still, prostrate. As the man crouched there, the light brown figure stretched out it's right hand, long, thin and bony and plunged the clawed finger tips into the marine's skull...The body of the man convulsed for a moment, then became still as the lifeless figure slumped to the side. The troop of figures walked about twenty feet over to Stromm's right.

Laying in the red dust was the corpse of some sort of horned beast. Almost satyr-like with deep, flesh-colored skin, it was keeled over backward, intestines splayed out for all to see. The light brown figure walked over to it and spread out his arms above the cadaver. For several moments the hands glowed with an eerie luminescance as the the figure uttered strange words...sounds...

To Stromm's bewilderment and awe, the body reversed it's decay and damage, the intestines seeped back into the abdominal cavity and the skin formed over again over the gaping wounds. The figure stood up again, shaking it's horned skull, gaining it's bearings once again.

Stromm had become so mesmerized by this whole affair, he had nearly forgotten he was a spectator. He was violently thrust into reality, however, as a glimmer of light caught the lens of his goggles and made his presence known to the demons in the cannon below. Adrien felt his resolve melt away at the atrocity he beheld as the light brown creature dashed for him, thankfully a couple miles away, and the red-skinned beast formed a glowing, emerald-colored sphere of fire in his hand and pitched it towards him. The two dark brown, spiked creatures followed suit, only with smaller, orange colored fireballs.

Adrien put the goggles away, hefted his pack and retreated, all the while, his fevered mind demanding what he should now do...

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Thank you for the kind words. There will be additional add-ons to this story, of course, so that we can see it all to it's end. Though it may end up being the length of a small book when I'm done. :) I'll see to it that every aspect of the plot is unfolded and developed, be it the conspiracy between the Federation of Colonial Powers' military and the UAC or Lieutenant Stromm's struggles to escape the depths of Hell, as well as what he finds and takes action toward, upon his return to earth.

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Very cool story. I only have one slightly negative thing to point out: It's pretty confusing. One moment he's in Hell and the other he's in a base following this egghead around.

It's not a bad thing really, but it'd be more convenient if you somehow marked those leaps in time.

Use a -
or a *
or some other humble symbol to mark when the story goes back or forward in time. That way, people won't get confused.

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