Chapter 12: Into the Void

Start from the beginning

"Very well." Cage's voice held no emotion.

They stopped a dozen meters short of the exterior and killed the engines. Greg stepped out, shotgun slung across his neck, pistol in its holster. He made sure the safeties on both were off and studied the structure. It was also made of some dull gray alloy as the other outposts they'd seen, punctuated with windows and tattooed with poorly hidden seams where the larger pieces fit together. Already, Greg could see that some of the windows were broken out.

"Let's take a quick walk around the perimeter, and try out our radios, see if anyone is on short-range," he said.

They made a quick circle around the outside of the building while Kyra called out on her radio. By the time they'd made a complete circuit, they hadn't heard a peep, and learned that the building was singular. There were no exterior sheds and the structure amounted to a large, low rectangle of bland metal. The only man-made things in the area besides the building were a pair of landing pads, which were vacant.

The trio gathered at what appeared to be the main entrance.

"Now, the database pegged this as an emergency medical facility, so there may be some medical supplies we can salvage. We shouldn't linger, though." Greg stared hard at the front door. Something was wrong.

"Why?" Kyra replied.

"I don't know...just a bad feeling."

"I feel it, too." Cage shifted. "Instinct. I don't like this place."

Kyra took a deep breath and let it out. "Then let's do this fast, but careful."

They opened the door. Nothing leaped out at them. They were admitted to a lobby, void of furniture, decorated only by a curved desk against the far wall, opposite the doorway, and a thin blue carpet.

The place was steeped in the disturbing notion of abrupt abandonment, as though everyone had simply vanished in the midst of everyday activities. Greg moved slowly around the desk and found a wheeled swivel chair knocked over. A terminal built into the desktop was shut down and a single cup of coffee had been left to sit and go cold.

Greg righted the chair and called to Kyra.

"What?" She started toward him.

"We should fire this up. See if we can get an idea of what might have gone on. Logs, cameras, at least a map of the building. And you're better at this than I am."

Kyra nodded and took a seat. Greg found Cage investigating the pair of doors, one on either side of the room. Each door led to a corridor that turned away from the doorway, extending several dozen meters. Doorways broke up the length of bland metal walls at irregular intervals. In the corridor to the right, they saw an unmoving form heaped on the floor amid a dark stain. Some of the lights were out and others flickered.

"Anything?" Greg asked after several minutes of ominous silence had passed. Kyra seemed wholly focused on her work, staring into the pale light of the terminal.

"I've got a map of this place. It isn't big or complex. As for logs...well, from what I can gather, they started getting calls a little less than a week ago. Then their medics stopped coming back from the calls and after that someone came by and attacked the base...took out their comms array...and the last report mentions something getting into the base. This was two days ago."

"What about cameras? Security?" Greg called over his shoulder.

"Cameras are down and damage to the mainframe is blocking access to recorded footage."

"Wonderful...all right, we should stick together."

They moved into the base, taking the right door first. The corridor was long and empty, the light broken by the flickering and damaged bulbs. The corpse halfway down the hallway gave the area a menacing atmosphere.

NecropolisRead this story for FREE!