Glowing jewels ran down the corridor, the plasma strikes the distant approaching invaders.
“Fire in the hole” shouts a marine. The screeching grenade arched through the air and decimates a horde of aliens approaching from behind. Major Sargent Martinez was providing intel to Admiral Frost over a ultra frequency transmitter.
“Mobility has been impaired. Our projected ETA is ten minutes, cause being the sheer magnitude of these creatures” he explains loudly. “Intruders are a joint force of multiple alien species. Repeat. Intruders are a joint force of multiple alien species”
“Report received and understood. Stand-by” The transmitter crackles. The shooting stops and the area fell silent.
“Area secure” reports a marine.
“Advance” commands Martinez.

Alex and Pauline moved through the halls of the experimental weapons labs, whispering to each other in an alien tongue, Pauline affectionately strokes the coarse skin of passing demons. They came to a locked laboratory and Alex looks into the retina scanner.
“Authorization Accepted. Welcome, Chief Administrator” says the computer voice.
The door whooshed open, expelling a gasp of sterile smelling air. The pair walk inside. In the centre of the lab was a large, square work table littered with various parts. Locked cabinets along the walls held prototype weapons and shelves of data sheets, two holo-terminals flanked each other from the middle of the room and a left-hand passage led to a small workshop. Looming before them was another door, they approach it and walk inside. A large weapon was stored within. The artificial light glitters against the grey, polished surface. It had a pair of shoulder mounts on the back and a large, wide barrel on the front. Alex unlocks the armament from its mounting. He picks it up and inserts an energy cell pack, the BFG 9000 hums to life.

BFG 9000

Outside the base, in the twilight of space, a corporate vessel cuts its blazing thrusters and descends upon another of the Deimos escape pods. The ship slows to a stop and a clawed robotic arm extends from a hatch, it grips the pod and draws it into the spacious hanger bay. It was placed among other escape pods, resting on one of several flat plasma fields uniformly layered in the hangar. The Deimos researchers walk from the pod and a holographic attendant led them to the elevator. They walked through the large doors, leading to the rest of the ship’s interior. Another hologram greets them.
“Welcome aboard the CSV Navigator” it says “Accommodations are being prepared for you at this time. In the meantime, the Executive’s Common Area will have everything you may need” it explains. “Councillor Crawford has scheduled a meeting with Dr. Nexson and Director Banks. Please make your way to Conference Room 7-B at 1830 hours” it finishes. The two men exchange stern glances. The researchers move into the adjoining hallway, walking swiftly among heavy pedestrian traffic.
“Rupert, we need to find a sub-space terminal” says Will.
Banks and Nexson enter a nearby Sub-Space Parlour and step into a booth, pulling the privacy screen closed behind them. Banks entered a six digit code into the touchpad and placed the call. They stood waiting as the signal was relayed over a sub-orbital receiver.
“Video uplink established” chimed the terminal.
The video call opened, a finely dressed man with dark eyes and a stone-cold expression filled the holo-monitor.
“Hello Doctor, Director” the man says, “I’m glad to see you made it off-station. I can hardly believe these reports, this is going to become immensely costly” he states.
“You’re correct about that,” agrees Banks, releasing a long breath. “I know you have many questions about the incident, but right now, we are being persued by authorities. We need immediate diplomatic protection” Banks quickly explains. “Relax” the man says in a deep, monotone voice. “Our protocols are already being carried out. You’re protected” he assures them. “This is a black-eye for the Paranormal Division, but many of us think there is a good chance that we can grasp success from the jaws of defeat” he says with a sinister grin. “We want you to do us a favour and we’re not taking ‘no’ for an answer”

The Fusion Power Plant was throbbing with activity. The walls held flat white panels, small repair robots moved along the floor, occasionally popping into and out of small doors leading to a delivery chute that led to all areas of the plant.
“Condition: Alert” the female computer voice repeated softly.
A surplus of technicians and engineers stood around supervisors as they received their rapidly spoken emergency instructions and assignments. Space Marines were spread throughout the facility. The Power-Plant was under an extreme alert condition because their reactor specialists were performing a delicate experiment when the invasion occurred.

Reactor

Chief Engineer Rivera and Engineer Clark were in the Reactor Control Room, studying the anomalous energy readings on the holo-monitor, behind the view screen was the MCR-700 Reactor. They were sitting in high-backed chairs.
“Gamma radiation in the core is rising” the engineer utters, pointing to a climbing digital gage on the monitor.
“Let’s try Alpha-6 emission configuration on Module-B” Clark suggests.
“Proceed” replies Rivera.
The Engineer calmly enters the command into the terminal.
“That doesn’t seem to be having any effect, reduce the master density controller by 9 degrees” Rivera instructs. Troublingly, the Gamma radiation and temperature continued to climb.
“This can’t be right” Rivera exclaims, “this climb shouldn’t be continuing”
“It seems like something is interfering with the operation” Clark suggests.
“At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me. We need to evacuate the station with everyone else, we’re going to have to program the maintenance robots to monitor the reactor and regularly vent the radiation, or this station will have an alien invasion and a flood of toxic radiation to contend with” says Rivera.
They issued new commands to the maintenance robots and left the control room.

They walked a nearby humming corridor, electrical conduits and coolant pipes stretched along the walls.
“If we lose that reactor, they can forget about saving this station anytime soon” comments Rivera.
“We’ve never had issues like these with the MCR-700 before, whatever is causing those spikes, it’s a mystery to me” replies Clark.
“It shouldn’t be a big problem. As long as the maintenance robots–” Rivera is startled by the sudden opening of an intersecting door. The hydraulic sigh sounded as the door raised, revealing the Chief Administrator and his assistant. The Chief Administrator stared back with dark, unforgiving eyes, his BFG 9000 was loudly charging in his hands. The two men looked down at the glowing green barrel and gasped in horror, they dodged to evade the round. Clark was caught by the destructive blow and suffered instant demolecularization, the bio energy continued into the wall of the corridor, severing several critical conduits and making a large crater in the wall. The Chief Engineer hit the ground, clothing burned by the BFG’s blast, he stared dumbstruck at the brutal murder of his colleague.
“Alarm: power failure detected. Emergency power is now online” echoes the station computer as red emergency lights flooded the corridor. The pair of Former Humans stepped from the passage and looked down at their prey, the engineer looks into the pure black eyes and fear jolted him to his feet. He made a stumbling attempt to escape in the other direction, panting loudly. From behind he heard the build-up of the BFG 9000. He was soon overtaken by green energy and fell to the ground in a pile of blackened ash.

Chapter V – Ritualistic Behaviour

“I’m not paid to ask questions about shipments, I just deliver the cargo” states the shady freighter Captain in the large, bright hangar bay. A sharp winged shuttle with a reinforced rear section filled the area, two levels of scaffolding rimmed the hangar’s walls. Corporal Revok stared silently at the Captain, then returned to examining the shipment order on his data sheet.
“I can’t imagine what use a crate of chainsaws would be on this station…” Revok says squarely. “I’ll have to look into this. Wait here please” he says, folding up the data sheet, he then turned and walked toward a nearby control station.

He brought up the communications system and called the Administrative division. The holo-monitor soon filled with the image of a secretary, framed in a office setting.
“Hello Corporal, how can I help you?” asks the bubbly secretary.
“Something’s off with the shipment that just arrived, I’d like to have the chief confirm the item” he says.
“The Administrator is monitoring a procedure at the moment, but I’ll have him contact you right away” she says.
“All right, I’ll be in my office catching up on some reports” he says. The Corporal and the secretary exchange some flirtatious comments before they ended the call. Revok walked over to the freighter Captain.
“Looks like it might be a while before the Chief Administrator gets back to me, you might as well relax for now” Revok states.
The Captain shrugs, “No problem there, Boy Scout” he says with a twisted smirk.

The doors connecting to the containment area swished open, a marine enters and approaches the Corporal.
“Corporal” calls the marine, saluting.
“Yes, Sergeant?” Revok asks.
“Major Mills asked me to deliver this to you” he says, extending a command packet. “He just said to keep it quiet, must be pretty important, sir” he says.
“Did he, now? Thank you, Sergeant. You’re dismissed” he says.
“My pleasure, sir” he salutes, then heads for the doors.

The packet’s surface was black and leathery, with a golden symbol on one side. An eagle gripping the top of a large shield, adorned with a shining star. The emblem of the Space Marine Corps. He opened the flap and looked inside, six data sheets sat neatly filed at the bottom of the packet. He pulls them out and starts reading, footnotes among the documents indicate that the UAC is using Space Marines as test subjects in one of their experiments. He drops the other sheets back into the packet and reads through a research report.

Experimentation Report

Location: Phobos colony, Alpha labs bio-research division.

Station Time: 1523 hrs, second day of seventh  lunar cycle of Martian year.

Earth date: March 7th 2146.

Attending: Senior researcher Dr. Stuart Johnson and Dr. Nathan Young overseeing experiment with Chief Administrator Alex Burvochov and Assistant Administrator Pauline Wolfe monitoring.

Purpose: Human testing of foreign genetic sequence for reasons of strategic inquiry.

Outline: Study agent is classified as BSK-01 GS.

Test subject details

Subject name: Classified

Affiliations: Classified

Sex: Male

Age: 29

Weight: 216 lbs

Height: 6’4 ft

Procedure Log

-Physical examination of subject is positive; subject authorized for treatment at 006.

-Test subject is released from stasis and placed into protected observation at 017.

-Test subject receives injection of study agent at 022.

-Monitoring of test subject; vitals deemed normal at 035

-Subject’s heart rate begins to elevate; vitals remain stable with minor fluctuating discrepancies; subject exhibits signs of moderate physical discomfiture and hyperventilation at 051.

-Subject’s breathing returns to normal levels; subject’s discomfiture has dissipated at 104.

-Cellular examination of subject reveals a successful fusion of genetic materials from the study agent at 116.

-Subject’s condition is stable; subject is placed in quarantined living area for observation at 122.

-End of log at 127.

Rage builds in the Corporal’s mind, the data sheet crumples in his enraged grip.

Dr. Nexson was in his office, station information scrolled along the holo-monitors fitted to the walls, from a wide window could be seen the planet Mars framed by starlight, the rocky craters of Demios and the adjoining buildings of the UAC colony. He busily typed the keyboard, writing reports for the assignments under his responsibility. The brightness of the screen begins to sting his eyes, he dims the monitor a few degrees and rubs his eyes. He rolls his chair to the far end of his desk and grabs his cooling mug of tea and sips it slowly. He had just returned to typing when a loud clatter broke him from his concentration. Nexson looks up and sees a small mound of data sheets, messily piled on his desk. Corporal Revok stood hunched over the desk, glaring at Rupert from behind the transparent screen of the holo-monitor.

 

“What the **** is this?” he demands.
Nexson calmly turns off the holo-keyboard and monitor, they disappear with a buzzing tone. He then reaches for a data sheet, giving Revok a disinterested stare.
“They appear to be laboratory reports with a level ten clearance classification” he says with a dry tone.
“I don’t care if they’re bloody classified! Here…” Revok picks up one of the data sheets, “…section D, paragraph two. Read it” he growls.

Rupert takes the data sheet and reads it.
“I see” he says, laying down the sheet. “I suspect you are distraught about our choice of test subjects” Rupert suggests.
“I’m the station’s highest ranking military officer, why wasn’t I informed?” he snaps.
“Need to know basis, Corporal. Surely you must understand that” he says casually, with a shrug.
“That’s not going to fly with me, Rupert” Revok says angrily, “What kind of tests are occurring?” he asks with large bulging eyes.
Rupert releases a long breath, “Okay, Revok” he reaches under his desk and presses a switch, the office door closes and the hardware switches off.

“First off, your concerns about the teleporter systems were proven correct. It is more dangerous than we thought” Rupert begins.
“I knew that damned contraption was trouble” says Revok.
“BSK-01 GS is a genetic serum that was extracted from a test subject that suffered severe mutations after traversing the portal – please, let me finish” he says with a wave of his hand as the Corporal tried to interject.
“Upper management is impressed by your meticulous devotion to duty” he explains.
“Your proven convictions regarding the teleporter system has granted you a great deal of credibility. It’s for these reasons that we want you to hang around” he continues.
“We’re stationed out here to pursue dangerous research studies, outside legal and moral boundaries. So the time has come for you to decide if this position as station chief is truly a suitable fit for you, high command has already agreed to play by our rules. Now tell me Revok, do you fly with us, or do you say good-bye to us?” Rupert asks, flatly.

“If you stick around, continue what you’ve always been doing here with our priorities in mind you’ll be promoted and given top security clearance throughout the station. If you leave, you’ll likely never find work in the aerospace industry again. This way, when it comes to our questionable test subjects, you’ll be able to directly oversee operations” he says, exclaiming with arms raised.
“High command will be pleased and you’ll never have a more luxurious position. How does the rank ‘Master Corporal’ sound to you?” Rupert asks.
“What does this entail, exactly?” Revok asks.
“This project you’re so concerned with is a prime example of the questionable waters that our research has led us…” he says, reaching into a desk drawer. He pulls out a data sheet and starts flicking through it.

“…I like you Revok, but I’m going to be blunt. You can either sign this contract or you can be on your merry way back to Earth. I’m not bluffing” Rupert states.
Revok takes the data sheet from the executive’s hand and reads it silently.
“This is quite the ultimatum, Rupert. Can I have until morning to decide?” he asks.
“Protocols dictate that this contract must expire in twenty minutes” Rupert explains.
Revok examines the data sheet for another moment before deciding.

“I guess I don’t have much of a choice…” Revok says as he reaches into an inner pocket for his stylus.
“Consider it as a… understanding between two mutual parties, your duties will change very little” Rupert explains.
“All right, Rupert…” Revok says as he signs the data sheet “I’ll play ball”
“I’m very pleased, you’re a good station chief. I would have been unhappy to see you go” Rupert says, raising from his seat and grasping the Corporal’s hand in a friendly gesture.
“You’ll receive a change of procedure over sub-space from high command within the next hour” he explains, smiling. The Corporal returns a smirk, masking his apprehension.

 

The stars just outside the UAC base shine brilliantly. The halls of Echo labs, however, were pitch black. Due to an evacuation order, the halls were as silent as space. Space Marines stood outside the large doors that lead to the research complex. In the heart of Echo was the Level Ten-A experimentation chamber that currently housed the Gate-B prototype teleporter. The lab was bathed in flickering candle light, a intricate circle was drawn in front of the large device. The circle was lined with hieroglyphs from the dead Martian language, a single pillared alter sat before the gate, it had a bowl at the top that was filled with red wine. A small gong was placed to the front-left side of the teleporter.

Susan Carmichael was in the circle, wearing a black hooded ceremonial robe. She crouched low and lit candles surrounding the circle with a long match. The silence was broken by the whooshing sound of the sealed doors opening, Susan continued undisturbed. Three hooded figures entered the lab, Dr. Nexson, Dr. Kronos and Director Banks walked slowly in measured steps and stood in a triangular formation outside the circle. Dr. Mason and Dr. Phillips were in the adjoining control room. Susan gently blew out the match and placed it aside, she took her place in the centre of the circle, a moment of meditational silence filled the area. Nexson picks up a small mallet and strikes the gong, the small group begin to slowly walk around the circle and chant words from the Martian language.

They walked around the circle more and more quickly, as their chanting grew louder and louder. Susan eventually lifted her arms and they came to a halt, facing the gate. Dr. Mason activates the portal, a small flame of portal energy began burning within the gate. The Director approaches the altar and briefly kneels before it, he then draws a ceremonial dagger and dips it into the spilled wine, he then draws the dagger through the air and completes several Martian characters as Susan chants in long tones.

“Dee-foos-mal-nam” she eerily chants, her words were repeated by the practitioners assembled around her.
“Dee-foos-mal-nam”
Susan repeated the chant until she could feel an ancient energy from deep within the gate touching her mind.

She began her psychic scan of the portal. She could see hundreds of worlds, hundreds of civilizations. Their cultures, art, architecture, dialects and so many other intimate details. She could see entire galaxies of life, each foreign detail was more fascinating than the next. The portal’s tendrils of energy gently reached out to Susan and mingled with her psychic waves.

“Entire worlds, emotions, life, I can feel them, I can see them all” declares Susan, cosmic energy filling her mind. She stood, gratefully drinking in the intoxicating, ancient energy. She allowed her mind to explore deeper into infinity, she transcends realm after realm of progressively advanced worlds in mental ecstasy.

She suddenly touched a intensely desolate realm, a brooding darkness seemed to sweep across the lab. It was evident from the look on her face, she was straining her focus. She opened her eyes. They were filled with intensity, they shone like a pair of small mirrors. A sinister presence moved over the assembled practitioners. Susan tries to tell Mason to close the portal, but the breath seemed to have been swept from her lungs. Will surfaces from him meditation and notices Susan’s struggle.
“Susan, you’ve got to close the circle” he says.
She begins gesturing her ceremonial dagger, the other practitioners begin to chant.

“Attempting shut down” sounded the intercom that echoed through the chamber. Mason flips through the emergency shut down procedures. The gate shone even more brightly, a deep red growth crawls from the portal and covers the teleporter in a grotesque layer of flesh.

The practitioners watched as the gate glowed brighter than they had ever seen it burn before.
“You need to evacuate, the controls are locked out!” bellowed the intercom.

Susan hastily finished the closing of the ceremonial circle and the group then escapes through the door to the connecting control room. They stood around the control station, Mason was running through auxiliary commands. The hardware maintenance monitor was on the display, section after section of hardware modules fell into a malfunctioned state.
“The data core is corrupted” Mason states.

The gate burned brighter and brighter, rings of energy began radiating away from the gate. The surface of Gate B was covered in moving flesh that was beginning to cover the floor and walls of the test chamber. The Director reaches for his mobile and activates the station alarm.

“The system is running the communication program! The portal is connecting with Phobos!” shouts Mason.
“This is a nightmare!” shrieks Susan over the sound of the station alarm.

Inside the test chamber, the portal’s energy was three times the intensity of it’s normal operation, it was flanked by red spinning warning lights. Two large aliens then stepped from the glowing gate.