Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Darkness

Random short story by TheGhostGamer

Darkness


Pandaris Station. Location: orbiting Mars. Purpose of the station: Research Mars. Manufactured in 2045, this station has been the pinnacle of human engineering for over 30 years. The station itself is “U” shaped, with many layers and large hangers on either side. The east side is composed of laboratories and office room, while the west side is living quarters housing the 156 scientists and engineers aboard the Pandaris. In the center was a giant cafeteria. With the exception of a massive engine failure in 2053, the station has had no major problems or malfunctions, until last week…



Without warning, the station went completely dark. No transmissions from the station, and long range scans report a massive power failure.

Sergeant Kim and the other 15 men and women of the scout team approached the Pandaris in their T89 Swan class drop ship. Evan Stanton sat in the drop ship, cradling his M89 Gauss rifle.

Evan looked around at the other members of his squad. Some were scared, other looked indifferent. For many of them, this was their first mission away from Earth.

The drop ship docked with the Pandaris, and the loading ramp descended to the cold metallic floor of the station. The 16 marines stepped down from the drop ship and stood in standard formation.

“Ok, I’ll be back to pick the lot of you up at 0600, be ready” With that the Swan pilot lifted his craft, and flew out of the hanger.

Evan tried not to think of it as being stranded on the station, but the thought kept creeping back into the front of his mind.

The station was pitch black, so the squad flipped on the gun-mounted flashlights as they waited for orders.

Sergeant Kim spoke. “Alright marines, this is a scout mission. Nine days ago this station went completely dark, nothing is known about what transpired here, but it’s our mission to find out. Split into squads of two, each Squad takes a different level.”

The squad knew what to do instantly, and split into their respected teams. Evan and Pvt. Simpson rode the lift to subsection 5, the main conference floor.

They proceeded down the hallways without so much as a word. They hallways were also pitch black, the only light source being the two flashlights. All of the rooms they encountered had large round table with multiple chairs. All conference rooms. They scanned the rooms for any sign of life, illuminating everything with their lights.

Evan was wondering why the people aboard the Pandaris needed all these room when he caught a flash of movement with his flashlight. To him it looked like a person running on their hands and feet.

“Hey…did you see that?” Evan asked his fellow marine.

“Hm? I didn’t see anything, maybe this station is getting to you.” Simpson replied without even looking at Evan.

“Yah…yah you’re probably right…” Evan said as he proceeded to scan the hall and room for anything.

“This is Kim, all squads report.” The voice through Evan suit-com almost gave him a heart attack.

After a few minutes of squad reporting in, it was clear this station was abandoned; no one else had found anything.

Evan scanned the hallway, looking into the darkness of the station, when he thought he saw something once more, but this time it looked as if it went into one of the conference rooms.

Evan batted Simpson on the shoulder and pointed to the room, the signal for “I think someone is in there”. Simpson nodded in agreement.

Evan slowly approached the room with caution. Simpson dropped to one knee and slowly scanned the hallway as Evan entered the dark room. He slowly used his flashlight to illuminate every part of the room, but saw nothing. He entered farther and stopped dead in his tracks.

“What the…” He said to himself. Voices. All around him. Only whispers really, and he couldn’t make out what they were saying. His first though was the other marines, but he quickly dismissed that, he and Simpson were the only ones on this level. Suddenly the voices stopped, plunging the room in total silence once more.

“Hey Simpson, get in here….something…strange just happened.” Evan said while still looking around the room. He waited for a response, but none came.

“Simpson?” Evan said, louder this time, still no response.

“Simpson, get your ass in here.” Evan said as he exited the room looking for Simpson.

Darkness. There was only darkness around him, no Simpson. He quickly dropped to one knee and scanned the hallway, but there was nothing. He opened his suit-com and pinged Simpson, with no response. Evan started to panic, but then he saw something that made his heart stop.

On the floor, right were Simpson was standing, was a M89 Gauss rifle, Simpson’s M89 Gauss rifle.

“What the hell…?” he said quietly as he opened his suit-com once more,

“Kim! Kim come in!” Evan almost screamed into the com.

“Stanton? What’s going on?” Kim’s voice came through the com.

“Its…Its Simpson, I don’t know where he is! He...He is gone!” Evan managed to stammer out.

“What? What do you mean gone?” Kim said, confused.

“He…I went into a room, I thought I saw a shadow run in there, and when I came out, Simpson was gone, his rifle was here, but he was gone. I check all the rooms around us…!” Evan yelled through the com.

“I” there was a long pause while Kim tired to decide what to do. She pinged her suit-com, and opened a channel to all the marines. “Ok marines, this mission just became complicated; I want everyone to report to the cafeteria, on the double marines.

“Roger” came 14 voices over the com channel.

Evan didn’t need to be told twice; he booked it to the elevator and pushed the button.

As he waited for the elevator, almost in a panic, he heard something. Scraping. Like something was running down the hall. The sound grew louder and louder, as if some wild animal was charging down the hall. Evan quickly raised his rifle and aimed down the hall, only to see…nothing. There was nothing down the hall. Sweating now, he quickly turned back to the elevator. The elevator chimed and opened, revealing a pitch black box.

Evan jumped in and quickly pressed the “Cafeteria” button. Evan briefly wondered how the elevators were working with no power, but quickly dismissed the thought. Without warning, Evan’s mounted flashlight went dark. The small elevator was enveloped in darkness. He smacked his rifle a few times, hoping to get the light back on.

More whispering. Evan clearly heard someone say “None will survive.” Evan swung his rifle wildly around, looking for anything, but it was impossible to see anything in the darkness.

The elevator chimed and the doors opened. The whispering stopped. Evan jumped out of the elevator and quickly closed the doors.

He quickly looked around the cafeteria, and saw a handful of marines.

“Marines, over here, quick” He instantly recognized Moore, the second in command.

Evan quickly ran over to the marines, and noticed there was not 14 of them, but only 7, including himself.

“Where….where is everyone else?” Evan stammered out.

“We don’t know, we lost contact with everyone else, including Sergeant Kim.” Moore said as he checked his rifle.

Evan’s mounted flashlight kicked on, surprising him. The marines had taken a defensive formation, covering all the elevators and doorways.

“Ok marines, we will wait here for a while, then retreat back to the hanger and wait for evac, this is no lon—“He was cut off but the chime of an elevator door.

The marines quickly aimed their rifles at the doors. They opened slowly, revealing nothing more then an empty box.

“…the hell” A marines managed.

The marines shined their flashlight something very unnerving. Two M89 Gauss rifles lay on the floor of the elevator, complete with everything but their owners.

“Screw this” Moore said as he looked at the rifles. “Everyone saddle up, were headed back to the hanger!”

The marines approached the elevator and split into two groups. Moore and three other marines got on first. The doors closed and the full elevator rose upwards. Evan, and the two other marines he recognized as Mendoza and Carmine, waited for the next ride.

“Let’s just take another one” Mendoza said as they waited.

“Moron, we can’t take another, this one takes us directly to the hall that leads to the hanger, and the other takes us to separate floors.” Carmine said matter-of-factly.

“Right…” Mendoza said as he waited.

The doors chimed once more, Evan was getting sick of that sound, and the doors opened. The three marines stepped in and rode the elevator to section 1, the main floor. The doors opened and, to the marine’s horror, no one was waiting for them.

“Where is Moore?” Evan said in a cautious tone.

“Probably went to the hanger all-ready, come on” Mendoza said, as he began walking toward the hanger.

They walked quickly, not bothering to scan any rooms or check any corners.

“Shhhhh…I think I heard something…” Carmine said as he stopped.

It was the scraping sound again… It sounded closer, and faster.

“What the…is that an animal?” Carmine said as he looked around.

“No…I have heard this before I…wait…where is Mendoza?” Evan said as he noticed Mendoza was gone.

“What he was…” Carmine began, but was silenced by a rifle on the ground, right where Mendoza has been standing.

“My god…Mendoza!” Evan yelled. It was in vain, no response came.

“…Ok…Lets get the hell…oh…oh god no.” Evan began, when he noticed Carmine was also missing.

Evan ran. He didn’t stick around to find out where they went or what happened to them, He just ran. As he ran, he saw something move in front of him, another shadow, and this one closer. He quickly dove into an open room and aimed his rifle at the door. Nothing happened, nothing came through the door. He turned around to scan the room, and dropped his rifle in horror; in front of him stood a creature of unimaginable horror. The creature had a human frame and stood on two legs, but that was where the similarities ended. It has gray, cracked skin, long legs with large claws at the end. Its arms were thin, with long fingers. Where its heart would be, there was a hole, inside; nothing but darkness. Its face was almost human, but distorted; where its eyes would be, there was nothing.

The creature smiled, revealing a row of razor sharp teeth.

Evan screamed, and ran. He didn’t bother to pick up his rifle, he just ran. He ran faster then he ever thought he could. After what seemed like miles he arrived at the hanger, he quickly entered. His only light was a tiny flashlight connected to his sidearm, which he pulled out and turned on. He scanned the room for any sign of the creature, but there was nothing…

Evan let out another scream. On the ground, near the hanger door, were four M89 Gauss rifle.

Something inside Evan snapped. He grabbed two of the rifles, checked the magazines, and with one in each hand, began running down the hallway.

As he ran he screamed and fired his rifles wildly into the air, challenging whatever that creature was to come out and fight him.

He finally reached the elevator, reloaded his rifles, and scanned the hall. The creature stood in the middle of the hall, arms outstretched, smiling. Evan wasted no time; he unloaded both rifles into the creature. Bullets flew everywhere, spend cartages flew all around Evan.

The creature was gone. Evan dropped the rifles and turned around, only to come face to face with the beast.

Evan raised his rifle and fired, point blank, into the creatures head. The creature flew back, hit the elevator doors, and remained motionless.

Evan let out a triumphant laugh, and turned around. It was there, the beast was right in front of him. It reached out and grabbed Evan’s sidearm, and snapped it in half like a child’s toy. The hallway was plunged into darkness.

In the darkness, a scream rang out. Then there was nothing but silence.







The creature know as Salgaris drifted back into the shadows, waiting for its next group of victims.

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