Chapter 01: Onyx

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"This is Corporal John Powell to Deep Nova Mining Installation Onyx Control. I repeat, this is Corporal Powell to Onyx Control, does anyone read me? We are in need of assistance. I repeat we are in need of assistance."

Greg felt as though he'd heard that specific phrase many times over. The repeated message had speared his consciousness, buried deep within the dark depths of exhaustion and lethargy. It had begun to relentlessly drag him towards the thin gray light of awareness. He became aware of pain, lots of it, spread throughout his body. He was uncomfortable, lying against something hard and unyielding, and it was cold. He was tired, so very tired.

He kept his eyes closed.

"I repeat this is John Powell..."

The message was persistent, urgent even in its droning monotone. Greg didn't want to be awake. It would lead to things like misery and suffering. The pain grew. Everything seemed to hurt, his head, his arm, his chest, his lower lip. His legs ached as if he'd been running for a hundred years. His muscles burned from overuse. A thousand different tiny hurts were spread liberally across the topography of his aching flesh.

No, there was still time to sleep, if he could just get comfort-

A half-second clip of a spinning bone saw meeting flesh and spraying blood flashed across his mind's eye.

Greg gasped and his eyes snapped open. Everything slowly slid into focus. Memories, hazy and confused, hovered at the edge of his consciousness. He felt like there was a lot he should be worried about, a lot he had been through lately. All he thought of was blood and death, screaming and gunfire. Smokey corridors and bloodied walls.

"Greg." Kyra was suddenly at his side, sliding into the seat next to him. He instantly relaxed at the sight of her. "How do you feel?"

"A million years old," Greg muttered as reality asserted itself more firmly.

He remembered it all. Dis. The Anubis. Erebus. The Undead. The Augmented. Williams. Graves. Billings. The sun.

Kyra grinned. "You look it."

"Thanks." Greg sat up straighter in his chair, groaned and popped his neck.

"You could really use a shower, too."

"My God, you are amazing at this."

Kyra laughed easily and kissed him.

"How long was I out?" He massaged his temples.

"Six hours. We've been making our way towards the mining colony," Kyra replied.

Greg slipped into silence for a moment. He remembered. After destroying the Anubis and linking up with Powell, the tech had dropped another bomb on them: the local star was going to go supernova in two days' time. Powell had done more thorough scans of the system while he was onboard the other ship, making his EMP bomb to stop Erebus and Dark Ops. It seemed that there were two areas of refuge. One was a mining colony on a moon orbiting the fourth planet. The moon was called Onyx. Not far from the moon was an abandoned space station. The obvious choice was the colony. The only problem was it was about seven hours away.

That and well, no one was answering their calls.

Greg listened to Powell's voice drift back to him via the cockpit radio where Campbell sat, piloting them across dead space.

"Has anyone given chase?" Greg asked, finally.

After almost an hour of waiting since they'd left the Anubis, he'd finally given in and decided to try and take a nap.

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