"So, I kind of feel like we're taking this all without much in the way of explanation," Trent said. He was leading the squad down another dank tunnel of pipes and metal. Something had been murdered, quite violently, in the corridor and sprayed blood all over the walls, the floor and even the ceiling. To make matters even worse, one of the pipes had burst, filling the area with a dim haze.
"I don't know how much more I can explain, honestly," Trevor replied.
"It's just...this thing, whatever it is, that's in Research Three. I mean, is it really that powerful? Do we even know what it is? What it looks like? What it's even capable of?"
"No, unfortunately," Trevor said, sounding uncomfortable with his lack of knowledge. "Even if we had a lot more time and money and resources, I'm honestly not sure we could even figure it out. What little the Cyr did know about this thing all seemed to indicate some kind of apocalypse scenario. Galactic extinction."
"So why the fuck didn't they just kill it if they had the capacity?" Gideon asked.
"I don't know...maybe they weren't even sure it would work. Or maybe they got it all set up and died before they had the chance to kill it," Trevor suggested.
"I don't know," Tristan said. "This place seems pretty extensive. It's obvious that it wasn't built just to handle that one thing. It seems like they were trying to study it."
"If they knew how dangerous it was, why the fuck even bother wasting time studying it?" Drake asked.
Trevor shrugged. "Maybe they only found out after they had studied it for a little while? Or, hell, why not politics? Maybe some wanted to destroy it, others wanted to study it, gain its power, whatever power there might be to gain."
"Fucking politics," Trent muttered. "Always fucking politics."
"Does anyone find it strange that this thing survived so long? Most Cyr stuff has been dated to about two hundred thousand years ago," Tristan said.
"Just another thing to make whatever this is that much creepier," Drake said after a moment's contemplation.
"Either way, it doesn't really have much bearing on our situation. However the scenario played out hundreds of thousands of years ago, we still have a single objective: kill it," Trevor said firmly.
"Speaking of killing...what do you know about how we mercs were going to be handled after we got out of this place?" Trent asked.
Trevor hesitated. "I'm not sure, honestly. Though I'm willing to bet that they'd just hoped you'd die in the process of completing the objective. Then, whoever made it out alive, they'd probably kill you on the way back with gas or poison or something."
"Charming," Tristan murmured.
"Yeah, thanks a lot," Trent said.
Trevor raised his hands defensively. "Hey, it's not my call! If it were up to me, we'd all go home happy and safe and rich."
"That reminds me, which company do you actually work for?"
"Guess it doesn't really matter now," Trevor said after a moment. "Ascension Inc."
"Those guys?" Drake asked. "But they're a medical corporation."
"Yeah. I guess they thought they might unlock some new cures or treatments or something out here. Although honestly any company would have come out here, looking for treasure."
"How the hell did you guys find this place?" Gideon asked.
"I don't really know, but I imagine that every company has an investment in deep-space probes. It was probably just chance."
YOU ARE READING
The fourth novel in The Shadow Wars. Trent Stone and Drake Winters are best friends, brothers-in-arms, and career mercenaries. After a particularly dangerous job, they head to an isolated space station for a bit of rest and relaxation. But their vac...