Ancient Research Facility
Offshore, West of Ossyria
24th April 2042
0525 Local Time
What in the seven shades of hell have we stumbled into?
Wolf inhaled chillingly, stepping back from the scene. Through his visors night vision he could see how strikingly the copious amounts of blood contrasted with the steel floor and for his life willed himself not to think how anyone could even lose that much blood. A stream of dark trailed along a night vision green floor, dark handprints smeared across a dark sprayed wall.
How did it get onto the roof?
Jackal brushed pass, upper face also hidden behind his visor. For once that jokester was silent. Wolf heard Coyote gasp audibly and clenched his jaw tight. As a geospatial technician, Coyote was the only one of them without combat experience. The only one alive without combat experience, Wolf corrected, remembering Dog.
Keep moving. Were on a schedule here.
The team gingerly travelled around the signs of death, trying occupy their minds with other things. Like their mission for instance. Usually, as team leader, Wolf would be taking point but now there was physical evidence of danger lurking within the ancient corridors, Jackal automatically lead. This made sense as Jackal, armed with a Void Hunter crossbow, had more range than Wolfs dagger. The four double timed through the facility, weapons out and poised.
First terminal? Jackal murmured, Wolf figured this was more of a coping action to take his mind of things, rather than an actual question.
One floor down, second quadrant. Wolf replied humorously, fingers dancing on the hilt of his dagger. He could still hear Coyote whimpering faintly behind him.
Abruptly, Jackal signalled a halt and swung his crossbow up to the ceiling. He had detected something. Wolf frowned and adjusted the intensifier on his visor. He could hear Fox do the same. An awkward silence ensured, only broken by their barely audible breaths and something else. Something that they could not put their finger on.
What was it?
Now Wolf could see it, a miniscule drop of liquid seeping through the plasterboard ceiling.
Suddenly there was a feral rasp and something scuttled above our head, marked out by the patter against the plaster. Jackal cried out in alarm and fired, the bolt penetrating the stained roof. A slight spray of fluid exploded from the impact point and then nothing. Wolf then noticed that he was gripping his dagger a little too tightly and eased off the pressure.
Okay, I think that was a false
The plaster panel disintegrated, a flayed body tumbled out in a sluice of blood, jerking to a grizzly halt a few feet from the floor.
Frak this clusterfrak! Jackal swore, reeling back as blood and liquefied organs splayed across his upper body. Wolf was too busy wiping his visor clean and catching Jackal to notice the two females simultaneously scream in terror. After the initial shock, Wolf dubiously looked at the mutilated corpse again, barely suppressing the urge to vomit. The body swung gruesomely upside down, a continuous trickle of blood splattering disconcertingly onto the floor. It looked like an inspector that was posted here, though age or gender Wolf could not deduce. It seems that the person had taken to the ceiling to escape whatever was roaming around and unluckily, had been caught. With a quick exchange of words, Jackal shielded Coyotes eyes and lead her around the dangling corpse whilst Fox reluctantly steadied the skinless body as Wolf severed the cables that feet were tangled up in. With a horrific liquid thud, the corpse hit the steel skull first, which burst upon impact.
Frak this. Fox cried as unidentifiable human matter coated her boots. At this new macabre sight, Wolf retched and would have sagged to his knees, if not dissuaded by the matter pooling on the floor. Staggering forward, Wolf tugged on Foxs sleeve.
Indeed, now zip it woman. Weve attracted enough attention already. Wolf gasped, wiping his face.
You vomiting doesnt help. Fox retorted, momentarily forgetting the disfigured corpse at her feet. Jackal was just up ahead, struggling to stop Coyote from going emotionally overboard. The staircase had to be close. The terminals had to be close. The faster they finished this, the faster they would be out. Footfalls light, they melded into the shadows.
Level Seventy-Six: Administration Sector 2A and Maintenance Block Ten
Lieutenant Gemina was quite taken back by the lax attitude, relatively speaking. If not for the fact that they were inside an ominous research facility with surreal happenings, she could have replied in the same carefree manner. Sitting imperiously on a spartan cream sofa was a figure dressed almost identical to Sawyer when they first met him, save for the fact that his armour was less bulky. The room was well lit with several imported cogitators with the sigil of Ellinia occupying a side of the room.
Depends who you are talking to, Captain.
Lieutenant Gemina replied, saluting crisply. Ally or not, manners were high on her list as well as courtesy and honour. The Captain grinned, amused, and saluted back. His gaze wandered over Geminas shoulder, inspecting the other arrivals.
You can tell your soldiers to sit down, The Captain informed her, gesturing to various other seating around the room. Lieutenant…?
Gemina took the hint. Gemina DeQuincy. Thank you for your hospitality, Captain…?
Parsa. Captain Parsa. The man responded, his eyes fixed on hers. Gemina thought that there some something unworldly about it and realised that Captain Parsa had heterochromia and ocular albinism one of his eyes were pink and the other violet. It was quite unnerving to look at for long. She gestured for her retinue to rest and took a seat, placing herself in an armchair directly opposite the Shadow Captain.
So it seems that fate has put us in the same ship. Enough of the formalities, I believe we have business to attend to. Parsa clipped, reclining as he did so. This seemed to be some sort of signal as Sawyer moved behind Parsa to operate one of the consoles as well as two others that seemingly materialised out of thin air. Gemina must have subconsciously flinched or something as Parsa chuckled softly.
Concealment is their specialty, we arent prefixed Shadows for nothing.
There was a soft groan and Gemina turned to see the technician, Neil rise from his stupor. Joseph was at his side immediately, checking his retinas with a penlight and doing a quick examination to make sure the recovery was clean. Fey, as sceptical as ever, lazily kept his gunpoint at the technician.
Ah, his revival brings about my main concern. Gemina began, nodding thoughtfully. Your comrade, Sawyer, has succinctly told me that your objective is not the data here. If so, I would appreciate your co-operation in the search and rescue of the fifty odd personnel of this complex, survivors which now probably number distressingly less than that.
I am disinclined to acquiesce your request. We have more pressing matters here, namely, the complete destruction of this cursed place. The faster it is done, the faster peace can be restored to the world. The Captain replied placidly.
Are you saying that youre willing to leave fifty citizens to their doom in this forsaken place? You shall have their blood on your conscience. Gemina snapped testily, raising her voice unintentionally.
What are fifty lives for the saved lives of hundreds? Even thousands? Youre living in a fantasy world, Lieutenant. Reality is harsh, get with the programme. What you are suggesting is borderline naivety. Have you not witness what hellish experiments are carried out here? Have you not felt the unnatural atmosphere, the disturbing history that lingers in the air? Parsa retorted with equal passion, yet his eyes remained cold.
Surely you could lend us some help. We happened to have lost five fine soldiers to this cause already so dont you dare talk to me about naivety. Weve been living that hell for the last five hours. A life is a life, there is no replacement. How about we negotiate, you help us find survivors, and we in turn help you destroy this facility. In that order.
Captain Parsa mused silently, covering his mouth with his left hand in contemplation. He inclined his head to the right, glancing back at the three other armoured warriors.
Gisele, is Reyna complete with her duties? He inquired and a woman with amethyst hair in a ponytail looked fluidly around, as if tracking him with targeters. Her eyes locked directly on Parsas as she answered.
He last sitrep suggests that she is on her way up as we speak. Objective completed, sir.
Nodding, Captain Parsa turned back to Gemina and her squad.
Let me think about it.
Level Seventy-Five: Command Module and Workstations
The smell of roasted meat almost made Tyler salivate, until he reminded himself that it was some foul unholy beast that they had fried only moments earlier. Instead he occupied himself by letting Anni give him a shot of painkillers for a force burn on his left shoulder. The wound was superficial but it would never heal, leaving a discoloured patch of fused flesh as a perpetual reminder of his encounter with a force spear. He caught the eyes of the two rival snipers attached to the unit as Anni finished up and moved on to Jason. Rifles slung over their shoulders, they crossed over to him.
Hey new fish, got the first view of the foe? Fuji remarked, crouching by his side.
Well, I didnt see you helping. Tyler commented irritably, massaging his shoulder.
Calm down, I hear you almost didnt leave any of it left for us. Not like we had a chance anyway. Your sergeant took care of that. Fenrir interjected, grinning.
Bet it tastes like wild boar. Fuji sighed wistfully, which made Tyler laugh.
Corporal Steve trudged phlegmatically into the seared room; torchlight illuminating the burnt out consoles and the hulking fried corpse of the taurospear, making sure it was dead and more importantly, alone. Although he had a reputation as not having much intellectual smarts, he did have a talent for logic. The taurospear was well over three metres tall and the doorway was just around two. There was no way the taurospear had entered the room from the door so either there was another, larger entrance to the room or some sort of access to other floors. In a dark corner, whether from the darkness or from scorching Steve did not know, was a place that did not return the light from his torch. The corporal inspected closer, Uzi ready in his hands. It seems the taurospear had rendered a coarse hole in the wall from top to bottom but much larger at the top and the ceiling. Steve rushed back to report his findings.
Hes gone. Brain damage must have gotten him. Im surprise he even managed to hold on that long. Medic Anni stated, closing Jasons eyes with the palm of her hand. Standing behind her, Sergeant Ganzicus sighed and wiped his brow. One down.
He was always a supernatural one. Just plagued by bad luck. Ganzicus murmured finally, turning as his second in command scrambled up to him. Steves gaze fell on Jason and he paused, looking inquisitively at the sergeant.
Succumbed to his injuries. A good soldier gone. Ganzicus informed him solemnly, keeping his eyes level to his subordinate. Steve nodded and lowered his weapon before clearing his throat.
I think I discovered how that beast managed to get there. At the far end of the room, there is a breach from the ceiling to the floor, which indicates that the enemy approached from the upper levels by clawing or slicing through the concrete and steel.
Ganzicus knew where Steve was going with this, they had been trying to find a way up to reach the stricken dropship that had ploughed into the facility and it seemed that this taurospear might had saved the time and trouble of locating a normal stairway.
Good job, Steve. Assemble the squad, make sure everyone has had a drink and that all wounds have been seen too. Looks as though were getting somewhere at last.
Ben propped his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon against the corridor wall, slumping beside it. The rest of Unit Lambda were hastily arranging themselves in the narrow corridor, leaning against window frames, standing or crouching. Sergeant Ganzicus stood in the middle of the rough circle of soldiers and took a good look at them all before he began.
Men and women, I know youve all gone over the briefing before we left so I wont insult your intelligence by going over it again, and because I need you awake. He started, earning a few grins and chuckles from his squad. The current situation is follows: Hostiles are present, both human and non. The Maple Special Navy Detachment has not responded to our calls so we have to assume that they have either been overpowered by superior forces, are seriously under strength or have been broken. Objective was to locate and support the 303rd but circumstance has changed this. As you know, hostile anti air fire crippled Unit Zeta and their bird, Iron Claw. Now with my best judgement, it would seem that Unit Zeta takes priority as there may well be survivors and we would be better off first trying to regroup. Also, Corporal Steve has discovered a direct route up at least several floors, which should shave off much needed time to find the Iron Claw and her survivors.
Unit Lambda nodded in acknowledgement. Ganzicus echoed the nod and smiled.
Well? What are you waiting for? Hell to freeze over? Get your climbing coils and get going, the faster we get this done the faster we can get on with the actual mission.
FEAR Prologue: Ambient Wonder
FEAR Chapter One: Trace Amounts
FEAR Chapter Two: Opening Suite
FEAR Chapter Three: Dust and Echoes
FEAR Chapter Four: Perchance to Dream
FEAR Chapter Five: Blow Me Away
FEAR Chapter Six: Lament for Pvt Imppala
FEAR Chapter Seven: Under Cover of Night
FEAR Chapter Eight: Dread Intrusion
FEAR Chapter Nine: Antediluvia
FEAR Chapter Ten: Apropos to Salvation
There will be a chance to introduce two or three new characters in some later chapters. Just giving you faithful readers a heads up in case you want in (Whether thou ist brave or foolish, or your character died and you want to prolong your life in this horrific journey). I’ll notify you later on when you can try your luck.
Once again, thanks for all you people who read, I know I have not been updating often.