Allan slowly brought the jeep to a halt as he approached the edge of the vehicle repair center. If the pillar of smoke rising silently into the air wasn't enough of a clue that something was seriously fucked, then the hole in the wall of the nearest building and the smear of blood on the ground certainly was. Allan listened for any signs that the slaughter that had occurred here might still be going on, but he could hear nothing.
"Jesus," Johnson whispered.
"Come on, we need to see if there are any survivors," Allan murmured, turning off the engine and stepping out of the jeep.
The others reluctantly followed. Two more doors opened and closed, the sounds falling flat in the still air of the desert. Allan pulled his pistol out again, wondering if he should even bother, but he found that his hands felt awkward if he wasn't holding some kind of weapon in them at this point. With Johnson and Lucy backing him up, he moved towards the small collections of structures. They were approaching from the back.
Allan approached the hole that had been made in the wall by what must have been brute force. He peered in, pistol out, ready to retreat at a moment's notice. The room beyond was empty. This building seemed to be a storage bay. Shelves and crates lined the walls, taking up most of the interior. A clear path had been forced through. Shelves were toppled over, crates broken open, their contents spilled across the floor.
"What, did he just walk in a straight line through here?!" Johnson whispered.
"Come on," Allan replied.
They went into the hole, stepping over the scattered tools and spare parts, and up to a corresponding hole in the far wall. Allan peered out into the area beyond. It looked like the station was essentially a collection of buildings built around a pair of landing pads that glinted dully in the high sun. There was one building to their left, two across the way, and one more to the right. Immediately, Allan spied a pair of corpses on the landing pad. Both of their necks had been crushed and they each lay in a pool of blood.
"Check the buildings," Allan murmured.
"Okay, I am not splitting up," Johnson said.
"I don't think he's here anymore," Allan replied. "Will you just go? You can run away if you find him. He doesn't seem that fast."
Johnson heaved a sigh, but turned to the right and made for that building. Lucy said nothing and made for the building to the left. Allan moved across the landing pad, constantly scanning his surroundings, not quite trusting his instincts. While he did feel that the killer was gone, no longer at this location, the situation was so strange that he knew he could be wrong. But then what? What was he doing here, anyway?
If they actually did run into the killer, then he'd probably kill them. They had no way to physically stop him. They'd have to pick up some armor-piercers and those weren't exactly lying around, waiting to be picked up by a desperate Investigator. He was putting not only his own life in danger, but two others as well. As Allan reached the first of the two buildings opposite the one they'd come into, he stopped for a moment.
Just for a second, he actually tried to make himself leave. To turn around, gather up the others, get into the jeep and just drive for Lansing. But it wouldn't come. He simply could not do it. He shook his head and moved into the first building. Judging by the fact that the two buildings he'd come to were identical, Allan figured that they were both garages as he looked around the interior. It definitely looked like a regular garage.
A pair of jeeps occupied the center of the area. Around the exterior of the room was a ring of tables, workbenches, lockers, and shelves. Everything had a gritty, worn feel to it. The whole area felt very used and lived in. Allan did a quick sweep of the area, then stepped back outside and moved on to the second building. He wasn't really sure what he was looking for or what he was expecting to find, only that it was standard operating procedure to check out the area. He moved to the second garage and opened it up.
YOU ARE READING
The fifth novel in The Shadow Wars. Sergeant Allan Gray has just suffered the worst defeat in his fourteen years as a member of Security-Investigations, a branch of the government that offers protection to both the colonies and isolated outposts of...