I wrote this a few years ago as the plot for Doom Resurrection. I just discovered it again and thought it merits posting here. Some parts are pretty raw when I read it nowadays, and Tommie Quick added/changed some stuff so it would have worked better with the project, but here you go.
The Hell Wars ended.
The gigantic ship, groaning and creaking under the weight of millions of Terrans, disengaged its primary engines and switched to the smaller, more precise manoeuvring thrusters. The freefall began to subside as the ship started to swing around the Earth, making minute adjustments to attain a geostationary orbit.
For twenty-eight solid months the ship had drifted in this nothingness. They had had no particular place to go; they could not simply land on another planet like Mars and set up shop. Plus, about one-eighth of Mars' orbit revolution had been declared strictly off-limits under penalty of deportation or death. That one-eighth was the region in which the infamous portals had opened up, releasing the hellspawn which not only destroyed all of Phobos and Deimos, but also most of Earth. Thus, even though the spaceship did in fact have limiting terraforming capabilities, landing on Mars would be basically useless since everybody would be required to pack up and leave one-eighth of the year anyway.
So they ship floated in space, waiting for an all-clear from home. The government had pumped in feeds of old television shows, but no one cared: every monitor was tuned to the video coming direct from the satellites orbiting the Earth. People crowded around with a morbid curiosity as the satellite passed over their hometown. Had it been overrun by demonspawn yet? Had it been demolished by demonspawn yet? Had the demonspawn finally abandoned the ravaged town and moved on? Gripping television.
While not live television like the satellites, news of the Terran forces had also been of utmost importance to everyone on board. Specialised, elite troops had been sent by the bucketload... and notices of their untimely demise came back nearly as quickly. Only a few hardened platoons survived for any appreciable length of time, and nearly no one sent down reported in after as long as a month.
In the end, the war was one by only a handful of soldiers sent down after a frantic genetic and bionic engineering program. Super-enhanced, these soldiers were outfitted with an armor constructed of an ultra-light carbon-titanium alloy. Also, their entire body was threaded with ultra-fine filaments of the material, creating in essence a flexible, bullet-proof webbing surrounding their living tissue. Their metabolisms were increased tenfold. They were pumped full of synthetic derivations of sodium and potassium, accelerating their nervous impulses to a near-light speed. Nano-robots repaired damaged tissue from the inside out. The soldiers' brains had been implanted with snippets of cerebral cortexes from fresh cadavers which, if they took root, were "assigned" to a specific body part, creating, in essence, four hundred and thirty-five human brains within one skull. Each worked at maximum capacity to ensure the proper functioning of a single quadricep, or one semicircular canal, or whatever other body part required specific attention.
Seven of these wunderkinds were sent down. Three were killed within two months, but four survived to nearly the end of the war. It was estimated that these four specialised marines accounted for twenty-three percent of the hellspawn kills. Quite a figure, considering that over eight million soldiers had been sent down, and that these four were able to traverse basically Earth's entire land mass.
When the populace returned to the surface they found it in ruins. Some areas had not been touched, but most had; the ground was gouged and scarred as if raked by the Devil's gigantic hand. However, the damage was reversible. Since the decision had been made early in the war to not use tactical nuclear weaponry, all areas of the Earth were still inhabitable. All that was needed was to rebuild.
Aboard the ark which carried all of humanity for twenty-eight months, a general government had been formed, and it was decided that this united government would continue to function on the new Earth. Completely democratic, the entire Earth was divided into provinces and sub-provinces, headed by legislatures with varying levels of power. However, if adequately-sized groups wished to not be ruled by this new government, they were given a set amount of land and allowed to exist peacefully, only being required to follow a basic set of guidelines set forth by the new government.
The United Aerospace Corporation had been immediately disbanded and upon return its remaining facilities were dismantled. All research into the creation of interdimensional gateways was destroyed. As the years passed and the Earth returned to its pre-war level, various companies came into being which performed many of the old UAC's duties. One of these companies was CORE, and it specialised in providing new weapons and jet propulsion technology to the government. CORE soon grew to become one of the largest and most dominant companies in its field. However, as much as this company resembled the UAC, the government provided strict regulation to ensure that no unauthorised experiments would be performed ever again.
And so the Earth arose again, under the United Democracy of the People. Little protests were made as the government slowly became more and more dependent on CORE technology, and the news was accepted without much criticism when it became the official military supplier of the UDP.
The Terror Begins... Again
You nod to the security officer as you enter the commander's office. Connor beckons you to sit and he takes a seat across from you. He hands you a printout which showed a birdseye view of the Yucatan Peninsula. The margin labels it as a page from the latest edition of the World Geographic Atlas.
"Kalistan," You mutter. "Yeah, sure, I know what it is. One of the five foreign states left."
"You know your geography," replies Connor. He removes another printout and slides it across the table. It's a picture of a young man, about six feet tall, short brown hair, penetrating eyes.
"The president of Kalistan is named Samuel Barclay. Ring any bells?"
You scratch your head. "Should it?"
"Probably," Connor continues. "Barclay was the son of one of The Seven."
"The Seven" had become the popular term for the seven soldiers credited with playing the largest part in saving the world from the hellspawn during the Hell Wars.
"Matthew Barclay? The president of Kalistan is the son of one of The Seven? Well, I guess it's a good start towards living up to his dad's example."
"Yeah, one would think so. Barclay's mother joined Kalistan during the Resettlement because she didn't want to live in the society that had 'killed her husband.'."
"The UDP didn't do anything," You mutter. "Everyone knows The Seven were all hand-picked volunteers."
"Still, one would think that Mrs. Barclay would have a better reason than most for not wanting to become a citizen. In any event, Barclay was only about five at the time. He's lived in Kalistan all his life. Age twenty-four, he was elected to his local senate. Twenty-eight, national senate. Thirty-two, won sixty-three percent of the popular vote for president."
"You don't think his name had anything to do with that?"
"Well, naturally, but he's also quite the firebrand in his own right. He's been the leader of the movement towards complete autonomy."
"Really? I hadn't heard of it."
"Well, you don't really hear anything from Kalistan nowadays. Want in on a secret?"
"Sure. Go on."
Connor leans in close. "The UDP has conspired with the major communications companies to keep any real information about Kalistan out of the hands of the public."
"That's right. The UDP has some major problems with the condition of Kalistan and they believe that it stems from Barclay."
"What do they want to do? Overthrow him?"
"Well, that was the general idea, but some recent developments have upped the stakes. Did you know that President Barclay has a resort on the asteroid belt?"
"No, but I'm not surprised. Asteroids are hot property nowadays."
"Yes, but Barclay has two. A standard condo deal in the Near Arc, but a slightly... quieter one in the Antipodes."
Now that is interesting, you think. The Near Arc -- the region of asteroids closest to Earth and generally on the same side of the Sun -- was considered a legitimate, if extremely high-priced, neighbourhood. The Antipodes, however, were on the outside edge of the asteroid belt and usually on the opposite side of the Sun. Law enforcement officials were few and far between in this area, and the solar system's seedy underbelly exposed itself as a result.
"I think I see where you're heading."
"I don't think that you do. Contacts have confirmed that Barclay has been 'vacationing' there for over two weeks now, along with a rather large portion of the Kalistan military force. We've been keeping tabs on him. We figured that his 'vacation' had something to do with Kalistanian autonomy, but we weren't sure of the nature."
"So you're saying that Barclay has some undercover deals going on?"
"Far worse than that. Look what Intelligence was able to decipher."
Connor removes another printout from his folder and faces it towards you.
"Holy fuck," you whisper softly.
The printout is a single frame from a video transmission. It's blurred and skewed, but the image is unmistakable. Glowing eyes, bald head, horns.
"Oh shit. Oh shit. Did you get any more?"
"A little more. Enough for undeniable proof that Barclay has somehow contacted the hellspawn. Screw Kalistan, Barclay is negotiating something one hell of a lot bigger. And if that's not enough, we don't know where the signal was coming from."
You begin to breathe heavily. Your heart is pounding. "Those things nearly killed us all. This guy's own father is one of The Seven. Why the fuck would Barclay be talking to these things?"
"We have no idea. And we don't care. Barclay is currently Public Enemy Number One, and he has to be stopped. Immediately."
"And that's why you called me."
"Yes. I know it's not going to be an easy job, but I think you'd consider it necessary under the circumstances. You need to get in unnoticed and retrieve the files pinpointing the origin of the hellspawn's signal. After that, get the hell out of there."
"But you said that Barclay has himself a miniature army on this asteroid."
"That's correct. You're going to have to sneak in undetected, or Barclay will probably dump the computer core, and then we'll never know where the monsters were transmitting from. The files will probably be accessible only in his personal quarters. Sneak in, get the files, get out. If Barclay is in the quarters at the time, you'll have to do us all a favour and take him out too."
"What happens after I get out of there?"
"We'll call in the big guns and blow the asteroid to hell. We don't want anything remaining after this thing is over. Then we'll find those hellspawn and blow the shit out of them too."
"Dear god." You are still shaken. "How in the hell do you think they got back?"
Connor slowly shakes his head. "We're guessing another interdimensional portal, but no one knows for sure. You're suiting up at 0700 tomorrow morning."
You leave the office and are escorted back to your quarters. For hours, you sit, think, and pore over the documents specifying the exact nature of the mission. Finally, you retire to bed and drift off to sleep.
Suddenly you are jolted awake by klaxons and flashing lights. You get up and head for the briefing room. You know that something's being attacked, you just don't know what.
You arrive in the briefing room. What you see sends a cold judder down your spine. It's all happening again. The images that have haunted your nightmares are on the large computer screens, but this time you know they're for real.
You've never dealt with hellspawn before... but you know what you have to do. It looks like the Kalistanians are going to have to wait a little longer. You have to ensure that the hellspawn don't discover any of the new weapon technology that CORE has developed.
It's time to go. It's time to kill. It's time to survive.