Chapter 04: Control

60 8 0

"Okay Eric, what's the shortest route possible through Sector Two?" Greg asked, his voice tight. Tension sang through him as they stepped back into the junction area. They'd successfully repaired the reactor and navigated their way back out without running into any more hostiles. For which he was very grateful. Unfortunately, it just felt like there was going to be a fresh horror waiting around every corner, and every corner they turned, every door they stepped through where there wasn't anything just ratcheted up the tension another notch.

And Greg knew it was only going to get worse.

To make the situation even more strenuous, Drake was looking shittier now. He wasn't saying anything anymore and he'd puked twice, dry-heaving the second time since there was nothing left in his stomach to come up.

"Hold on," Eric murmured as he quickly crossed to the terminal, fired it up and located a map of the area beyond. He muttered to himself for a moment, then called them over. "Here, look," he said, pointing to the topographical overlay of the living quarters. "We can head immediately into this mess hall, cut through a storage area at the back of the kitchen section, then across this rec room and through these two infirmaries. That'll put us at the next junction, which should grant us access to the control room," he explained.

Greg looked it over, scrutinizing the route, both to double-check it and to ensure there wasn't a shorter way through, but he couldn't see one. He nodded tightly. "Okay, let's get going. Sooner we're out of this shitstorm, the better."

Drake just grunted quietly in agreement. He was leaning heavily against a nearby wall. As Greg and Eric prepared to move out, Drake tried to straighten up, but groaned. "Shit, Eric, gonna need some help here," he said, his voice slurring slightly.

Greg felt a fresh wave of cold fear roll through him as Eric helped him up. Drake was tough, simply put. He didn't ask for help unless he absolutely needed it. This was a good thing, because it meant he wasn't an idiot too obsessed with pride, but it also meant that he was nearing the end of his rope, physically speaking.

He couldn't go on for much longer.

Once Drake was up, Greg moved over to the large door that separated the junction from the rest of the station and opened it up. An entrance lobby awaited him, a place of destruction and death. Wrecked furniture, corpses strewn about, blood on the walls. Greg did a quick search of the area, knowing that they didn't have time for it but also knowing that he needed more ammunition if they were going to make it through this alive.

There was nothing in the lobby, but he managed to track down a box of shells in the security station attached to the lobby. Nothing else, though. He reloaded his shotgun and pocketed the rest. Feeling the immense press of time, Greg led the way out of the lobby, into a corridor and through the first door on the left, into the first part of their journey: the mess hall. It definitely lived up to its name. It looked like when whatever it was had happened, whatever horror had swept the station, it had been in the middle of a meal.

There were plates and bowls and cups everywhere, silverware glinted under the remaining lights, mixed in with pools of blood. Half-chewed corpses were strewn at total random in between rows of tables and benches. Sticking to the right side of the room, Greg led the pair through it. There didn't seem to be anything lurking. They managed to hit the back of the room, get behind the serving tray line and pass through a doorway at the back. They came into a kitchen and moved through a second door that led to the storage bay.

So far, so good.

The storage bay was packed and unruly. Obviously some kind of explosion or maybe a hull rupture nearby had sent everything off the shelves, scattering the supplies across the floor. And, mixed in with those supplies...Greg hesitated. Bones. Pure, clean, bleached bones, thrown into a chaotic pile. Shadows had been here.

SaturateRead this story for FREE!