Greg shivered miserably as he rubbed at his arms. He'd been walking for something like fifteen minutes now. Part of him kicked the other parts for not taking one of those suits of body armor when he'd had the chance. He considered going back and getting one, but the crashed ship had already disappeared out of his sight and he didn't want to extend his trip any longer than he had to. The suits might not have heating elements, and even if they did, and even if they worked, it probably wouldn't make any difference anyway by the time he got to the relay. Greg passed the time by staring into the lonely darkness and trying to remember.
Frustration at not knowing who the hell he was pissed him off, and, more than a little, it frightened him. Who was Greg Bishop? He began to get the vaguest inclination of that answer, and he suspected that he might have been a soldier of some kind, considering the situation he'd awoken into and the ease with which he handled a pistol. Then again, operating the controls of the cockpit had come to him with a similar ease. What if he was a technician who knew how to use a gun? Or what if he was just an adept soldier? A pilot?
Greg sighed. Once again, that line of reasoning got him nowhere. He considered pulling out the pistol and flicking on the little flashlight mounted on the muzzle, but ultimately decided against it. He wasn't sure if it was the dark, creepy setting, the nature of the situation he currently found himself stuck in, or just pure, plain paranoia, but he had the feeling that he wasn't alone out in the dark desolation. Sure, the BioScan had assured him otherwise, at least up to a range of one mile, but it could have been malfunctioning, or maybe there was something out here that didn't show up on the BioScan. Any number of unpleasant possibilities...
Greg shuddered and picked up the pace. His limbs had started to go numb, which he counted as a blessing in disguise. The various pains in his body diminished to a dull, occasional throb. He scanned the horizon for any signs of life, anything that might let him know just how close he was, that he wasn't just wandering aimlessly.
He saw nothing.
No lights. No buildings. The rain, occasional flickers of lightning, and shrieking winds were his only companions. His only real comfort was the compass, which assured him he was still going in the right direction. At some point, he realized that he'd developed a limp. Greg continued trying to jump-start his memories. Hints and flashes, brief bursts of recognition and half-realized truths shot through his head, but for the moment, his memories were as dark as his surroundings. Being stuck behind a wall of the unknown unsettled him like nothing else.
Greg didn't see the structures until he almost walked into them.
"Oh, thank God," he whispered.
He redacted his sentiment, however, as he noticed the complete absence of light. His grip on the pistol tightened as this realization sent a series of frigid chills down his spine. Greg did a quick check of his immediate area, but couldn't see anything save for the dark, forbidding landscape and the bleak collection of squat structures ahead of him.
He took a few more apprehensive steps towards the building, attempting to make out the logistics of the relay he'd come across. The outpost probably housed no more than a dozen, maybe a dozen and a half personnel.
He stood near a trio of small, one-room single-story buildings. Supply sheds, if he had to guess. A pair of larger structures sat ahead of him, an L-shaped building to his left, and off in the distance to his right, he could just make out another building. He pegged it as the power plant. Designers liked to keep power stations away from the main colony, just in case something went wrong. That thought came to him out of the darkness of his mind.
Outpost life seemed natural to him. Greg took a few more steps into the darkened relay station. He looked around, scrutinizing the buildings. After a few quiet moments, he decided none of this looked familiar. He sighed in mild frustration. That could mean anything. He might not even be from this planet, or he could have lived right at this very outpost. He continued looking around. Now, he had a decision to make.
YOU ARE READING
The first novel in The Shadow Wars. How terrifying would it be to wake up with no memories? How much worse would it get if you happened to be in a crashed vessel full of corpses? For Greg Bishop, this nightmare has just become a reality. With nothin...