Chapter 07: Contamination

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How strong were these things?

Allan rushed the man, burying the blade into his neck and pulling the knife out. Duncan screamed again and collapsed.

"Shit!" Allan cried, giving a quick look around the bridge, finding it empty and dropping to his knees. He grabbed his medical kit and opened it up.

"How you doing? Anything punctured, do you think?" Allan asked, tearing open a package of coagulant powder and pouring it into the wound.

Duncan let out a long, hoarse shout. "Uh, how about my fucking stomach!" he snarled through gritted teeth.

Allan managed a short, grim chuckle. "I mean organs, smartass."

A pause. "No...I don't think so, but I can't tell for sure."

"Shit, man...look, I need to find out what happened here, okay? Can you wait?" he asked.

Duncan nodded, teeth still pressed together. "Yeah, yeah, I'll be fine. Just...don't leave it too long, huh?" he replied.

"You got it. Here, hold still."

Allan took off the man's helmet, gave him an injection that was part painkiller and part antibiotic. He replaced his helmet, then, because it nagged at him, he sealed the hole in Duncan's suit. After that, he gently helped him up, brought him over to one of the workstation chairs and carefully set him down. When he was sure the demo expert was comfortable, he turned away from him, crossed the bridge and sat down in the captain's chair.

"Finally," he whispered, booting it up.

It was time to get some answers. The first thing he wanted to do was to run a BioScan and see what kind of results that produced. A moment passed in relative silence. Allan glanced back at Duncan. He was still sitting on the chair, unmoving. Allan stared at him a moment longer, suddenly wondering if he had just up and died. He was about to stand up and go check when Duncan shifted slightly and muttered to himself.

A soft chime startled him into turning back around. The BioScan was finished. Allan started to study it, but his vision abruptly blurred and then doubled. At the same time his head let out a pulse of raw, red pain that seemed to shoot through his entire body. He groaned, closing his eyes, willing the pain to pass, or at least subside. It did, after several moments. Allan took a deep breath and slowly let it out. He returned his attention to the BioScan results. What he saw didn't help. There were zero human life signs onboard.

Okay, okay...maybe it was broken.

But maybe not.

Probably not.

Allan sighed and closed that window. He tried to boot up the mission log, but was unable to do so. He had to settle for the captain's journal for data. He read the first entry, dated nearly a month ago, hoping something worth reading was in there.

ENTRY ONE FOR PROJECT: NULL

10.01.2347

I have been put in charge of a particularly miserable assignment by the Head Director. I don't know what I did to piss him off, but here I am, babysitting a bunch of eggheads out in the middle of nowhere. What's worse, they're fucking around with that virus. It blew up in their face twenty years ago and it did again two months ago on Dis. This damned Necro Virus is too hot to handle, but whatever the boss says, goes.

Here's hoping I don't wind up a drooling psychopath.

Allan felt his entire body go cold with raw-edged fear. The Necro Virus? Dis...that's where Greg and Kyra had been. For a mindless, cold-gut second, he thought he was going to become a zombie. But...that didn't follow. There were no zombies here, just creepy insane guys. Allan made himself calm down and focused. He kept reading, skipping ahead some.

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