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 Happy Holloween

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Fog of Nature
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Join date : 2010-03-26
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Posts : 573

PostSubject: Happy Holloween   Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:24 pm

"USG Ectheleon this is the USM Valkyrie please respond." Again nothing but static filled the radio as the marine working the communications console tried to raise the unresponsive freighter. The USG Ectheleon was a commercial cargo freighter that had been reported to have simply dissappeared a few days prior, quite simply put it just dropped off the radar without so much as a trace.

"Sir nobody is picking up." The marine said now looking back at the captain. Captain Shaw simply stared out the forward bridge transparisteel port on the bridge assessing the situation, they stumbled upon the Ectheleon by pure chance. When they came out of an SD jump they found themselves on their patrol route and also a few dozen kilometers away from the dormant USG Ectheleon where for the past few minutes after receiving identification signals that were automatically sent from the freighter have been tryiing to come into radio contact. Until now the theory behind the ships disappearance was beleived to be the work of pirates who wished to make a simple profit off the cargo but here the ship was in near perfect condition, no obviously valuable parts were stripped away, no pieces of hull were removed for forced entry, engines were intact, and according to the ships logs, all cargo was accounted for.

"Sir I figured out why we couldn't find the ship." Another marine spoke up getting the captains attention. "The SPG module was deactivated, logs recorded it being switched off a few hours after the ship went dark."

The SPG, or Spacial Positioning Grid, module was used to keep track of ships when they were beyond radar range and a basic tactic when trying to hijack a ship was to shut it off so you couldn't be found later but that still that didn't answer the question of why it was out here in the dead of space and on the red line no less. Captain Shaw remained silent for a few more minutes before speaking up.

"Anything on the atmospheric scanner?"

"Everything is normal except.." The ,arine at the sensor console started but paused as a small graph appeared on his screen.

"What is it?" Shaw asked.

"Scanners are reading a foreign contaminant that has spread throughout the ship, but its not raising any biohazard alarms. I can't find a match in any of our databases either military or science operated."

Shaw took a few more minutes to think things over . "Get me a link to highcom."

"Yes sir." The first marine replied.

After tapping a combination on the luminescent keyboard in fornt of him the main viewscreen was covered over by a large holographic panel, three small bars pulsed on the screen before being replaced by the face of a man with haircut typical of military personel, most of it had frayed grey tips. "This is commander Agier, report!"

"This is Darren Shaw, captain of the USM Valkyerie reporting in." Shaw replied monotonously.

"Continue captain."

"Sir we've found the USG Ectheleon, sending you information now." Shaw looked over to the communications officer who nodded and tapped a few more keys. "Sending."

"Copy that, receiving now..." The commander looked off to the side at something off screen, probably another datapad to look over their findings. "Understood, I'm sending additional ships for support and recovery, secure the ship and gather what information you can, quarantine procedures, and I want updates within the hour."

"Yes sir." Shaw replied.

"Commander Agier out." At that the holographic panel zipped out of existence to show only the derelect ship beyond.

"You heard him, I want everyone at attention, find the safest point for us to dock and report when you do."

"Sir the starboard airlock has yet to be contaminated by the foreign material and it has a clean path to the bridge."

"Good have those teams ready and have them packing hazmat, just in case."

"Yes sir."

"Alright ladies I want you geared up and prepared to move out yesterday!" Sergeant Avarice barked at the six other marines who were shuffling to apply their white combat RIGs. "Cap wants us on the boarding line ASAP so move it!"

I groaned in protest as I pulled on my helmet and activated te holo-display on my RIG to view our orders. Sure enough there were report orders for fireteams Zulu and Sierra however it was the CODE HYDRA alert that piqued my interest, Hydra was a quarantine code so we were dealing with some kind of biohazard which was way outside our jurisdiction. Still orders were orders so I clicked the seal at the base of my neck which brought a small timer on my heads-up-display showing I had fifteen minutes worth of self contained air, I clicked it again which made a hissing noise fill my ears as my RIG depressurized. Seeing everything was set I walked over and tapped a small white holo-display which opened a weapons locker, pulled out a pulse rifle, six pulse rivulets, a PSEC grade pistol, and a trio of stasis modules, my normal loadout.

Seeing several others following suit behind me I proceeded to our designated airlock, there I saw most of fireteam Zulu was already suited up and good to go, an IDT on one of the marines with a black shoulder pad read as "LT. V. Higgins" so when he turned to see who had walked in me and others that followed snapped into a crisp solute.

"Fireteam Sierra reporting in sir."

"Where are the rest of your team." The lieutenant asked briskly.

"Arms locker sir, with sarge riding their asses I give them less than a minute." I answered him, just as I finished the last three members of our team walked in and mimiced our solute to the lieutenant.

"You seem a little tense Eltee." Avarice mused.

"That code Hydra doesn't have you on edge?" Higgins replied casually.

"Nah, whats an alert order without a little thrill huh?" The sergeant replied with a chuckle.

"Hmph, I wish we could all share your enthusiasm." Higgins answered before the holo-displays on each of their RIGs lit up to show the captains face.

"We're docking with the Ectheleon now, get to the bridge and download the logs and all activity recorded after the time of disappearance, once thats done search the ship for the crew and then report in. You have forty-five minutes to complete the first objective, highcom wants updates so double time it." As he finished giving us orders we all gave our "yes sir"'s and turned to face the airlock as the displays deactivated. As his image faded there were a series of loud thuds and hissing as the airlocks connected and began to pressurize.

"Fireteam Sierra, your on point." Higgins barked as the hatch clicked.

Sergeant Avarice only chuckled and proceeded to pull the hatch open. "Hayden, Simmons, go, Thorn, Jackson, McDaniel, your behind me!"

As I was told I walked into the airlock followed by Simmons, we both had our rifles leveled at the hatch on the opposite end of the airlock. "Keep this by the books people." Higgins voice said as his voice filled the radio.

Reaching the other hatch I held my hand up to the holo-display making the doors sensors give a computerized tone before a series of locks began to deactivate, after a few seconds the door hissed open and again me and Simmons leveled our pulse rifles. The room beyond was dark so I brought my gloved hand up to tap my shoulder making a small tab pop out and light up, the flashlight illuminated a small part of the next room and showed it was empty. Seeing nothing I moved forward. "Sierra-three, breaching." I said into the radio, keeping my voice low like someone might hear me.

"Sierra-two, breaching." Simmons followed with the same hushed tone. "Clear left." He added as his light and rifle swept the left side of the room.

"Clear right." I said sweeping the afformentioned direct.

"Sierra-one, breaching." Sergeant stated, entering the room.

"Sierra-four, breaching."

"Sierra-six, breaching."

"Sierra-five, breaching."

"Sierra-seven, breaching."

"Clear!" Sarge yelled back into the airlock.

"Fireteam Zulu breaching." Was Higgins' only response as the other seven marines followed in our tracks, Higgins being the last to enter and sealing the Valkyrie's airlock behind him. As the seven of them cleared the Ectheleons airlock hatch Higgins sealed and locked it as well. "Teams one and two in place, The Valkyrie is clear to disengage."

"Copy that Lieutenant, disengaging now." A marine answered before there was a loud series of thuds and a sudden whoosh as the Valkyrie disconnected from the airlock.

"Wait why are they leaving us?" I blurted out.

"Quarantine procedures remember? If the ship stays connected they run the risk of becoming contaminated." The lieutenant answered.

"Meanwhile back on board the USG Ectheleon, we the marines were snet to secure the ship." Avarice chimed in with a mocking tone.

"Right," Higgins added, he turned to look at the back of the room, two doors. "So, left or right?"

"My bets on left." Avarice answered.

Higgins held his hand out over the flooring and with a rapid series of clicks a blue beam extended form his hand to floor which traced a straight line to the right hand door. "Alright, Zulu and Sierra-five and six. take the left and start sweeping the crew quarters and mess halls. Fours, you two guard the airlock. Everyone else with me."

Again we all gave our affirmatives and we divided into our alotted groups. Once the others were out of sight we proceeded down the right corridor again with me at the front, Simmons behind, and the others bringing up the rear. We passed several small rooms along the way towards a junction hall sweeping each of them until we got there, the junction was a three directional intersection, one going straight, one going off to the left and a third being the one we were in. There was also a staircase leading both up and down to other decks. Again using the tracker we proceeded forward to the bridge.

It took us about tweny minutes to get there and so far not a soul. The bridge had a three terraces, each with two consoles. The first terrace was at the top by the door and had the communications and main computer controls, both of which were still okay, the second terrace had the sensors and radar stations, the bottom terrace had the basic drive control which unlike the other two terraces were completely trashed. The main drive port showed another military craft drifting in space in front of them. "Looks like we've gotten company." I noted. The forward hull of the other ship had "USM Ranier" painted in large white letters along the lateral line.

"Alright, Simmons do your thing so we can report back to the cap." Higgins ordered.

"Yes sir, just a minute." Simmons answered kneeling besides one of the consoles on the top terrace.

Higgins walked over to a panel built into the wall and keyed up a holographic display of the entire ship which appeared in the aisle way of the second terrace. The ship had a conic design with the engins making the larger end of the cone though it looked almost uniform with the bridge being an the end still being only a few meters narrower. Lieutenant Higgins walked up to the display and started inspecting different sections of the ship starting with the bridge. "Looks like someone didn't wat this thing to be moving." He said putting his hand on the drive control section of the bridge which also brought up all systems linked to it. The enlarged view of the system started at the bridge which was labeled "PRIMARY DRIVE CONTROL" continued to a room in the center of the ship labeled "AUXILLARY CONTROL STATION" and then to a room along the ships spine labeled "Obs. Platf. A" each of the flashing red with a a small red box labeled "CRITICAL."

After that he returned it to the original layout, this time looking in on the cargo bay which was stacked to the brim with crates. He then looked at the lifepods of which each tube was empty. "No escape pods.....Uh-oh."

"What?" I asked not liking his tone.

"This." He said touching th label "SHUTTLE BAY 1A" which zoomed in to reveal the entire bay and a single ship docked there.

"What, its just a shuttle?"

"Yeah, a mining shuttle." Higgins pointed out. "Whats a mining shuttle doing on a cargo freighter?" He asked as he touched another few symbols bringing up a data log for the ship.

USG Echelon
rgstr #: ???
owner: ???
assignment: USG Ishimura

status: inactive.
life support: none

"Anything wrong with this?" Higgins asked.

"It was assigned to the Ishimura? The planet cracker? But it was-"

"-Destroyed." Sergeant Avarice interrupted Simmons. "One known survivor who is in lock up for the sabotoge and destruction of the ship and its mining colony."

"Look here." Higgins said as he brought up a video panel...

"Alright put it down gently...GENTLY!" The man yelled as the crane lowered the shuttle down slightly faster than the support braces could lock. "Good now get down here with the arc welder and the interface panel!"

Once the shuttle was locked in place the man walked up to the airlock hatch that opened on the ships side. He pressed his palm to a panel on the doorframe which pushed out to reveal a small screen. "And bring a cipher dialer too!" He yelled now leaning out of the frame. After a few minutes a small group of men walked up, one ws wearing an engineering RIG like the first man and carrying the equipment while the other four wearing PSEC RIGS. "You sure you want to open that thing up?" One of the security officers asked.

"Why not? Biometrics were negative remember."

"I don't know, it gives me the creeps."

"Whatever, here hand me the dialer." The first man replied then asked the second engineer who handed him a small tablet panel. The first engineer placed the tablet on the wall beside the lock screen and pressed a few keys before the hatch beside him thudded several times as the locks opened. "Jackpot." He said chuckling to himself. He then pressed another key which made the shuttle hatch open.

"Jesus!" One of the officers yelled, unholstering his weapon and pointing it.

"Wha-" The first engineer never even had a chance to look as a large bat-like creature lept onto him and started digging at his head with an extension that stuck out of the top of creatures "torso."

The other officers followed suit and started firing as an entire horde of other creatures followed and rushed the other engineer. There were several more of the "bats" along with several more who stood uprigh with their arms outstretched with a scythe-like blade coming out of their palms. There were also a few who were simply a head, body and two arms with the spinal cord trailing behind like a tail.

The officers were quickly overrun and torn to shreds by the creatures who didn't stop there and split up spreading across the ship...

"What the hell were those things?"

"Your guess is as good as mine."

"Lets go, exfil now!" Higgins yelled turning to the corridor leading out of bridge. "Zulu's and Sierra's regroup at the airlock, we're bugging out now!"

As we continued back the way we came Simmons pulled a small tablet off of the console he was working on. I took point again cutting ahead of the eltee and leveling my rifle at the opposite end of the corrider scanning every inch as I went. That video log still playing in my head,

"Valkyrie prepare to reconnect but don't dock until I give you the green light, the situation just got hostile."

"What do you mean 'Hostile?'"

"I mean alien hostile, streaming a video log to you now... give me the datapad."

Simmons did as ordered and handed the tablet to Higgins who connected a cable to his RIG.

"Alright, understood, just say when your ready and we'll get you out."

I only listened as we got back to the junction but stopped as I heard a sound from the staircases. Stopping I looked at the one going down and saw a sillouette rising up slowly. "Stop!" I yelled keeping my rifle leveled at...whoever or whatever it was. "I said stop!"

The others had followed suit when they heard me yell, now the figure was illuminated showing that it wore a crewmans uniform but was covered in tears revealing the stretched and torn flesh beneath. It held its arms upright like the creatures in the video and a smaller set of arms grew out of the tear in its stomach. Seing what it was Higgins was the first to fire, hitting it dead center in its left leg shattering the bone and sending its towering form slamming into the floor. Now the two smaller arms came into play as it started crawling to us, a gurgling noise emanating from its mouth which hung wide open, its arms still raised like before. The sarge was next to shoot it as he emptied an entire magazine into the thing which succeeded in removing the head and one of its arms, his pulse rifle clicked rapidly before snapping open and ejecting the spend magazine.. For a moment it looked like it was dead but it raised up and continued crawling with its remaining scythe arms raised and the gurgling now coming from its shredded throat. "Oh my god, just die!" I yelled shooting off its last arm, at last it remained still.

"Keep moving!" Higgins yelled.

"Eltee, theres something in here!" I heard Jacksons voice over the radio. "It killed Lopez and Mendoza!"

"Just get back to the airlock!" Higgins ordered.

"OH GOD!..." Was all he replied before being washed out by white noise.

"Damn, airlock double time!" Sarge barked breaking into a sprint. We all followed suit as the last door came into view along with the sound of gunfire and screams. Before we even reached the door I saw the other Zulu run out firing behind him before getting rammed by another creature and slammed into the wall behind him. The creature pinned him against the wall and and bit into his shoulder, his screaming filled the radio. He saw us coming and reached out to us, the creature however brought one of its scythed arm and sheered through his arm armor and all!

Catching our nerves we fired on this creature, eventually it too fell still but the marine was also dead, his arm completly removed, his shoulder torn open and blood leaking from the seal on his helmet and his biometrics now giving off a monotonous flatline. Now several more of the creatures filed into the corridor, as we turned to run we found even more behind us. I didn't even wait for them to attack as I used a stasis module to slow them down and emptied the rest of my mag into the oncoming horde. quickly reloading I managed to continue firing before the stasis wore off, the other three were folling my example and trying to down as many as we could before they cut us down like the others.

The sarge was the first to get hit first as we were slowly overwhelmed, one of the slashers driving a scythe through his shoulder making him drop his weapon and meeting a similar fate as the other marine, next was Simmons and then Higgins and as they swarmed me I tried again to run through the thinned horde but as I turned something hit me in the head and my world went dark...

My head was pounding, everything around me was shrouded in black. I looked on at the darkness only to see more nothing.

"Hello?" I felt compelled to yell out.

"Ah, your awake." I heard a calm voice though I couldn't find a source.

"Who are you?"

"We," the voice corrected. "Are a collection."

"A collection of what?"

"Or a collection of who?" The voice again corrected. "We are a collection of those like you, like you we are all victims."

"You mean they killed you too?"

"Yes and no, you see we are dead physically but mentally we are one and the same." The voice gaining an echo as it finished. "We are part of the collection, part of the horde." The voice continued now sounding like hundreds of voices speaking in unison.

"They want more, more bodies, more food, more for the hive!" They spoke, now yelling."And you and the rest of your kind are the key to us finding more." The voices continued suddenly the darkness obtained a crushing weight as the air started to feel heavy. "Now tell us about your home...tell us about earth."

"This is the USM Chimera, USM Valkyrie please respond." The Valkyrie, the Ranier, and the Merkitan continued on their current course, straight for a small planet, most of the surface was red while much of what wasn't was covered in cityscapes and other forms of human colonization. "USM Valkyrie please respond!"

A deep chuckle filled the radio channel before all was lost...

I know its early but still....
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Happy Holloween

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