Here's the second chapter in my story...it's more of a preview to whet your appetite, though. The next chapter should follow within a week's time, if even that.
(Another) Doom Story Pt. 2
The first thing you find in Phobos base, once you get past the airlock, is the security checkpoint. Here you get hosed down and scanned for any Martian diseases. If you're female the rent-a-cops gawk at you through the security cameras. Never did like those security guards, those fat, horny bastards.
But, despite my prejudices against the glorified mall security, that was where we headed, with LeTroi, Betz and Nguyen taking point guard duty. Stevens and I took the rear, covering everybody's ass. Peterson stayed between us and the rest of the squad in front of us, issuing orders to them and not paying us any attention. Stevens took this quiet moment to talk with me.
"It's damned quiet. And no people, either. I think we should go to high alert. This is getting weird. First the door and now no people."
"Maybe they're all on lunch break." I suggested.
"The whole base? They don't have a communal lunch hour." He had me there. "And didn't you notice that the mining machinery wasn't turned on? If it had been, we would have heard it." He had me there too.
"Jesus, what are you so uptight about?" I said, thouroughly annoyed at his paranoia.
"You don't find this situation unusual? See, there's the security station. I don't see anyone inside. Do you? The lights aren't even turned on."
True enough, I didn't see any light coming out of the security station, which was nestled in a wall to our right, jutting out of it. The hall we were in was plain, undecorated in away, save the caution signs and rules posters. Nothing was damaged or touched it, seemed, but the absence of people and noise was starting to freak me out a little. I tightened my grip on my modified Zero-G M-4, which I had ignored up until now. When you're a marine, you kind of get used to holding a gun, and sooner or later you forget it's there. People say we're terrible that way. Those people are morons.
Peterson ordered our pointmen to go investigate the security station. While they went over to the station and started inspecting it, Peterson had the rest of us go past the security station, through the deactivated showers, and into the reception area, where he thought there might be someone to tell us exactly what the hell was going on. Peterson stayed near the security center, so he could "evaluate the progress of the pointmen." In reality, though, I knew he was too much of a pussy to come with us. We all knew that. That's why nobody, save his superiors, liked him too much. We--that is Kosky, Kirin, Frederick, Stevens and me--left him and headed through the showers and into the hallway leading to the reception desk.
I noticed something strange while walking through the showers: The lights were flickering, like the lightbulbs were almost out of juice. That was my guess. But Stevens had a different idea.
"Hey, do you think the flickering lights have something to do with the interference Nguyen described?" He asked.
I hadn't considered that until now.
"Yeah, maybe, but it's more likely that the power system's all messed up. I'm still not very worried."
Actually, I was starting to freak out. This was so very weird I couldn't help being freaked out.
"Oh well. Let's get to the reception desk and figure out what the hell is happening."
I agreed wholeheartedly. The only thing I wanted right now was a beer in my hand and a good night's sleep. And we were all out of beer back at base.
I noticed we were lagging behind the rest of the squad, which was already at the ornate door leading to the lobby. Stevens and I jogged to the other guys, who were waiting patiently, readying their weapons for whatever was on the other side of the door. I cocked my own rifle on the fly.
"Okay, we ready?" Kosky asked, snapping a clip into his rifle, which he kept unloaded most of the time for some reason.
"Frederick, Kirin, you guys stay in the rear. Stevens, Harry, you guys come up here with me and get ready to kneel down so they can fire over your heads if it ever comes to that."
The double doors were wide enough to fit four of us comfortably abreast. The three of us had no trouble getting into formation.
Stevens, in the middle, lifted his leg and powerfully kicked the doors in. We all yelled out a harsh battle cry, only to realize we were yelling at corpses.
Dead bodies littered the blue UAC carpet, their blood splatted on the walls and in crimson pools on the carpet. Some of the corpses--the ones who still had faces--had expressions of utter terror on them--unusual if you're fighting a human. In all, there were six bodies, two female and the other four male. They all wore UAC employee uniforms. All of them were unarmed, save a man who had a blood-stained pocket knife in his cold, dead hand. He was slumped against a wall, a large chunk of his head missing. Not everybody was so lucky, if you could call it that. One man who was sprawled on the floor had a hole blown through his midsection. We could see his organs quite clearly. One of the women was missing the bottom half of her body. We couldn't find any body parts scattered around; they must have been completely disintigrated or taken away for some perverse reason.
It took us a full ten seconds for us to come to our senses and fully realize what had happened here.
"Good God," Kosky breathed, his eyes wide as saucers.
Kirin went and threw up in a corner of the room.
Frederick kept his head on straight, and went over to inspect the bodies to see what had killed them. He bent down over a man whose head had been ripped off. The corpse was sitting at the reception desk, slumped forward over papers covered in his blood. He was missing his face.
I decided to radio Peterson and the pointmen to update our status. About ten minutes had passed since we split paths, and BOY did we have one hell of a status report to radio in. I tapped the small com radio on my left shoulder.
"Corporal, we have something you should see here…over."
I waited. There was no reply. Only static.