This door is opened elsewhere...
The time came for the experiments to commence. The marines were stood in the first of the facility's two main portal chambers, awaiting its activation. Two scientists were with them, dressed in full hazmat gear. I was alone in the sealed control room, with Dr. Crawley, Counsellor Nugent, his bodyguard and the rest of the team in the monitoring station situated above me. I was as nervous as I'd ever been in this place, given the rumours flying around.
I logged into the computer system and waited for Dr. Crawley's instructions.
“Are you okay, Dr. Scott?” I heard her say over my earpiece. “Can you hear me?”
“Loud and clear,” I said. My voice was shaking.
“It's okay, Cameron,” she said, “just follow my instructions and everything will be fine.”
“Yes, Doctor,” I said.
“Okay,” said Dr. Crawley, “first, you need to throw the three main power switches. Wait until the light goes green before throwing the next one in the sequence.”
“Got it,” I said. I went over to the first switch and threw it. A few seconds passed that the red light above it changed to green.
“Okay,” said Dr. Crawley, “now for the next one.”
I did the same with number two, and waited for the green signal.
“See?” said Dr. Crawley. “Not so hard, is it?” If I was honest, I'd have said that remark was aimed more at Weyland than myself.
Finally, came switch number three. Once all three lights were green, I could feel my pulse getting faster. This was the moment of truth.
“Awaiting your signal, Doctor,” I said.
“Affirmative, Dr. Scott,” said Dr. Crawley. “Proceed in your own time.”
I walked over to the main switch and took a deep breath. “Activating the portal in three … two … one ...”
With my heart in my mouth, I threw the switch. I looked through the glass, down into the chamber, and I could see the platform begin to glow. The portal itself was huge, and covered in archaic runic symbols, for reasons which had never been fully explained. It was certainly intimidating.
“Alright, men,” said the squad leader, “let's move out.”
I watched as the four marines and the two scientists stepped into the portal and vanished in a bright green haze.
“Good work, Cameron,” said Dr. Crawley. “Dr. Weyland, how are we doing so far?”
“Everything seems to be within acceptable limits,” he said.
Dr. Crawley smiled. “Good,” she said. “Time to see if the radio works. Open up a channel.”
Weyland complied. “Ready,” he said.
“Alpha Team,” said Crawley, “this is Dr. Crawley. Can you hear me?”
“Yes, Doctor,” came the response. The signal was anything but clear, but it was at least audible. A number of the team applauded.
“What do you see?” said Crawley.
“It's … it's difficult to see anything here, Doctor,” said the marine. “It's really dark here. And it's hot as hell. Wait, what was that?”
“Marine?” said Crawley. “What's going on?”
“It's ... oh shit! Oh SHIT! OH SHIII-”
The line went dead. Before anyone could react, the remainder of the team emerged from the portal, screaming.
“Please,” cried one of the scientists, “shut it down! Quickly!”
Instinctively, I reached over and threw the switch to disable the portal. Nothing happened.
“Shut it down, Cameron,” said Crawley. “Shut it down, now!”
I began to panic. “I have, Dr. Crawley!” I cried. “It's already off!”
I tried shutting down the power switches, but to no avail.
“Nothing's happening!” I yelled.
“Alright,” said Crawley, “we're evacuating!”
The exploration team were now at the main chamber door, desperately trying to get it open. Before anyone else could move, I saw something that will remain with me to my grave. As I looked back towards the portal, I saw emerging from the green mist a huge creature, unlike anything born of this dimension. A giant, horned being, standing at least twelve feet tall, augmented with a range of cybernetic implants, including what appeared to be a massive arm-mounted cannon.
All I could do was watch as the entire team were obliterated in a barrage of missiles.
“Everybody, get the hell out of here!” I heard Weyland cry.
Then, as I looked back towards the portal, I saw a huge number of what I could only describe as flaming human skulls emerging and flying straight at the monitoring station. I could hear everyone screaming as they tore to get away, and at that moment, it was clear to me that I should probably follow suit.
I opened the door and ran as fast as I could down the corridor. As I looked up ahead, a saw one of my team coming the other way, only to be hit in the back by what appeared to be some kind of plasma mass. He fell to the ground, and then I saw his assailant. A creature, vaguely humanoid, brown-skinned and covered in spikes, staring me down with burning red eyes.
I turned a corner and ran as fast as I could. At that moment I heard Dr. Crawley over my earpiece.
“Dr. Scott,” she said. “Dr. Scott! Can you hear me?”
“Er … err … there's something chasing me!” I panted.
“Try not to panic,” she said. “We're making our way towards the main hangar. We're evacuating the facility. You're not far behind us, but we can't wait for you. Try and catch up.”
“I'll try,” I said.
I felt the ground shake, and as I turned the corner to hook up with the rest of my team I discovered that the ceiling had collapsed. I could still hear people screaming and the sound of heavy gunfire, but I was isolated from my team and had no means of defending myself. I darted through the nearest open door and hid, hoping that that thing hadn't spotted me.
I could hear the footsteps, then nothing. My heart was in my mouth and ready to drag my lungs behind it. I held my breath, expecting the creature to come through the door at any moment, but as I cowered in the corner of this small storeroom, I heard the footsteps become more and more distant. Satisfied that I was safe for at least the moment, I stood up and looked around for something I could use. Sadly, all I could find was a wrench.
I lifted it anyway, and looked around again for another way out of the room. I spotted a grate in the corner, leading into the air ducts. I smashed it with the wrench and made my way inside, hoping against hope that there was nothing waiting in there for me.