Chapter 17: Beyond Sanity

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A war was being fought within the metal hull of the Anubis.

As Greg led Kyra and Campbell silently through a side passageway, he heard the sound of three armies clashing. Williams and his Dark Ops troops were no doubt doing everything they could to regain control of their operation gone horribly wrong. Erebus and its Augmented were moving relentlessly forward with Erebus's own plan, whatever dark and terrible thing that might be. And the Undead were going berserk on everyone.

For a long while, Greg had said nothing, merely brooding about Billings. He supposed he should have seen something like this coming, in retrospect, what with all of Billings's grim, bleak dialogue on life. Of course, being in a nonstop nightmare like this tended to turn most people towards darker thoughts.

Had Billings's death meant anything?

Greg decided that it wouldn't mean anything at all if they didn't get to the engines and go through with this plan. Then what? How many times had Greg asked that of himself? The future was becoming smaller and smaller, first weeks, then days, and then mere hours, as Greg's life expectancy kept shrinking. He glanced down at his arm.

And then this.

"Okay, this is as far as it goes," he murmured, coming to the end of the side corridor.

They'd managed to make their way down to the engineering deck and had looked for ways into the engine room itself. Only they kept running into problems. There were several more out of the way routes into the engine room, but they were all, for one reason or another, blocked off. Some were locked down and there seemed to be no way to override them. Others were physically damaged to the point where the doors couldn't open.

"It's locked," Greg growled.

"Shit," Campbell muttered. "Looks like we'll have to go through the main corridor after all. This really sucks."

Greg didn't look forward to it. They turned and made their way back along the side corridor. They'd taken a short break to look for any potential way to hit the self-destruct button without actually, physically being there, but short of going to the bridge, which was very far away and no doubt under control of one of the three groups, there was no way. So, they'd opted to press on to the engine room, which seemed to be heavily contested territory.

"I can hear a lot of fighting out there," Campbell said uncertainly.

"Good," Greg replied curtly. "We'll slip through while they kill each other."

Campbell seemed uncertain, but Kyra was with Greg all the way. It was just the three of them now, at least on this ship. Greg wondered if Cage and Powell were okay. He wondered about their bomb. How close was it to actually being built? Had any of the three armies managed to gain a foothold on the other ship? There was only just Powell and Cage over there, even if Cage was a bit of a killing machine...

Greg stopped at the first door he could and froze his thoughts. None of that mattered. Now was the time to fight or die. Plain and simple.

"Everyone ready? Safeties off? Guns loaded?"

Kyra and Campbell responded affirmatively.

Greg opened the door to the main corridor that would take them directly to the engine room. It sounded like a world war raged within it. He poked his head out and looked around. An army of Drones fought a battalion of Dark Ops troops, both of whom were involved in an intense battle with a legion of Undead.

"Holy fuck," Greg whispered.

"Time to go," Kyra replied.

They slipped out into the unmitigated chaos. Greg still only had his shotgun. He hadn't managed to find any other weapons along the way. He kept his gaze continually sliding over everything as he slunk along the left wall, trying to keep out of everyone's way. Combat was proactive and all, but staying alive was, by far, much more proactive.

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