Chapter 18: The End

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Every opening, every door, every hatch, every vent, began birthing horrors.

Trent and Drake had managed to jog a dozen meters before they found themselves surrounded by all manner of madness given form. Everything they had encountered so far was coming for them with teeth and claws and ill intent.

The pair of mercenaries didn't miss a beat as they shouldered their rifles, kept on running and switched to the full auto function. Triggers were squeezed and twin streams of lead shrieked out at high velocities. Trent sighted a Harvester and blew the top of its skull away in a spray of bullets, then turned the deadly barrage onto a pair of Fiends, spraying the area with their dark blood and then finishing off the magazine by putting holes in a Spitter.

"This is going to be a problem!" Trent shouted, reloading.

"I managed to hang onto a pair of grenades, you got any?" Drake replied.

"No, none."

"Shit. Okay, get ready, going to blow a hole in their ranks." Drake was already priming the grenades. As soon as he finished the sentence he tossed them ahead, into the thickest cluster of enemies in between them and their goal.

Trent squeezed his eyes shut and turned away. There were a pair of sharp explosions that were mostly muffled by the sheer amount of enemies. Bodies flew in every direction. Trent and Drake pushed their advantage, emptying their magazines into the survivors stumbling about, putting down anything in their way.

A moment later they were at the end of the corridor, through the doorway there and into another room, one step closer to escape. Drake seemed to have picked up something of an understanding of the light pads and their symbols, enough to hit the one that closed and locked the door behind them. Trent began putting down the things that stood between them and their next doorway, but was immensely grateful for the relative peace that had fallen.

"Won't hold for long," Drake growled as he joined Trent.

They crossed the room, cut down a half-dozen Harvesters and got to the other door. Opening it, they found themselves in more familiar territory. No longer were they inside the Cyr building, but instead had come to a small human complex of rooms and corridors that had been built onto the side of the structure. Something about the familiarity of the structure released a tiny fragment of stress from Trent.

The pair hurried down the more reasonably-sized corridor they'd come to after locking the door behind them. Trent reviewed the rest of the path in his head. It was extremely simple. All they had to do was get through this corridor and the room beyond it, and they'd be outside, to the landing pads and, hopefully, their salvation.

They reached the first door and came into a lobby that was suspiciously empty. Trent hurried over to the door while Drake made sure nothing popped in uninvited. He hit the access button and was rewarded with an unhappy chirp. He cursed sharply and hit the button again, and once more after receiving a similar response.

"It's fucking locked!" he snapped, stepping back.

"Here, cover me," Drake said, hurrying across the room and kneeling to get a better view of the panel.

Trent turned and kept watch. Between the two of them, Drake was definitely smarter, and though he was no certified technician, he knew his way at least vaguely around technology. Thirty heart-pounding seconds went by, then Drake cursed sharply.

"What is it?" Trent asked.

"It's fucking locked down!" Drake snapped, standing.

"Fuck, now what? Is there another exit?"

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