I patrol the Australian Outback as a country soldier. I have just met my final match. - Chap 2
My first impulse was to immediately raise up my rifle and shoot the glass.
While it didn’t exactly shatter, the bullet bounced off the window and spiderwebbed. The figure threw itself against the glass, finally shattering it in all directions, and fell through. His burnt body smothered the computers under the window. Two of the medics ran up and dragged him through, propping him up on the wall. Samuel unhinged a water bottle, and forced it between his lips. He began to drink.
“Slow down, dude,” one of the medics, Trooper Lionel encouraged, as the injured man continued to drink. Army fatigues were burnt onto his skin, and blood seeped through the clothes that were stuck to his blisters. He started to breathe deeply, and opened his eyes, revealing his red and tired eyes, and the hollow look.
Kneeling down to him, I started to talk.
“Name and rank?”
“Martin. Corporal. 2nd Commandos.”
Taking out my notebook, I scribbled in the information.
“Mate, what the hell happened here?” I asked.
“I dunno. My job was to… guard this place. We got attacked a few hours ago… by somethin’.”
“You mean, you have no idea what they do here?” Samuel asked, loading a fresh magazine into his gun.
“Nup. I just pulled security here,” the Corporal answered, taking out an ID out of his pocket. Indeed, it matched his hollow, tired eyes, his name, branch of service and rank. But he also had a blue plastic laminated card. Holding it up, I asked what it was.
“Everyone who works here is issued with that,” he said, “it’s basically a card saying what we do here.”
Flipping it open, I began to read,
Australian Defence Force – Project Banksia
Security Position: Bank 2
The ground shook violently.
“The hell was that?” I asked as I looked up, handing the papers back to him.
“How the fuck do I know?” he shouted. Turning around, he faced a locker, and punched the lock. The locker door swung open, revealing a deadly cache of ammunition. Grabbing a shotgun, I turned towards us.
“What the hell are you doing,” Kenny spat.
“We gotta get outta here!” he screamed, wrenching up the door, “it’s happening!”
He started to run. The ground shook more violently, revealing the shaking structure of yellow pylon and support beams streching across the walls and the concrete roofing. The bolts squeaked loudly. Looking down at my boots, I traced the flooring, to the floor’s grout at the edge of the wall. Methodically, it began to spread open in an organised kind of way.
“LET’S GO!” Samuel screamed, pulling at my shoulder, before the hoarse voice of Martin screamed from the stairs.
“LET’S GO! GO! UP IS THE ONLY WAY!”
Falling, and dazed, I got up and began to sprint up the spiral staircases, before the face of Kenny erupted into my side vision. I looked across, seeing a Kenny and a bunch of other soldiers clinging with their bleeding hands at the grates of the stairs…
With their legs and feet dangling over what seemed to be an emerging darkness, as the floor grout seperated into the darkness below. I deduced large chains running below, with red flickering lights buzzing.
“CAP’N! CAP’N!” they screamed, their faces filled with fear. With my arm, I tried to wrestle them free, pulling up onto the stairs to prevent their deaths.
Then the staircases began to fall, like esclators. My glove ripped off as they clung onto it, falling into the darkness below.
No time. I shot up the stairs, and began to ran down the hallway, tearing past the already escaping personnel.
“We gotta go, go, GO!” I shouted, navigating through the entrance. Running out of breath, and running on pure andrenaline, I looked back. Whilst the seperation and artificial erosion of the infrastructure had stopped, what remained seemed to be… a perfect circle. The rumble halted to a stop.
“Crikey,” Samuel began, “Martin. So this is what you’ve been doing.”
“This… has never happened before,” Martin answered shakily, one of his hands wiping his bloody forehead, the other holding and loading shells into his shotgun. At that point, Lieutenant Hendrix spoke up.
“I’m takin’ a look. We lost most of our boys,” he said. Walking up, as well as us, we peeked over the edge of the hole.
I looked down at my boots, tripped, and fell.
My eyes flickered open, as I stared at my surroundings. I was lying on some sort of wet stone. I slowly, and shakily got up, my entire body in pain. Turns out running 20 kilometres a day did something to a man. In total darkness, I reached for my radio.
“This is Bravo 1,” I spoke through.
No one here. Tough luck. I bent down, and scoured for my rifle. Feeling a metallic surface, I took it up, only to stab my hand in the jagged edges of a rifle smashed in half. Throwing it away, I reached onto my vest and slipped out a glowstick. Snapping it, I unholstered my pistol, snapping off the safety and illuminated my surroundings. Ripping out a magazine, I stuck it through and cocked it. A brass bullet flickered out.
I was inside an intricate cave system. Chains were inside walls, and dim red lights flickered periodically. Looking around, I saw a tunnel dug in through a cave. The sign nailed in above it was too difficult to read.
I walked through, my boots slipping on uneven cunchy ground. A sound. Spinning, I aimed my gun down the tunnel. A bat flew through. My eyes trailed its path, and then it entered out of my vision into darkness. Emerging further, I stared to the end, and finally, there was a door. A sign was on it – but this one was brand new. Pushing open the door, it sounded a pneumatic hiss.
Inside, it was clean. Almost like a labatory, with concrete wall linings, ventillation and high quality lightbulbs. A high quality elevator was at the right, but inside the safety doors, the inside was crushed. I walked up to a labatory bench, and flicked my fingers through some files. Opening the clean manilla folder, I pulled out a spinning chair and began to read. While the first page was just the Australian Coat of Arms embeeded on a sheet of paper, I flicked over. A page, half ripped but still pieceable.
Project Banksia – Experiment #003-1
I flicked back to ensure that I didn’t miss anything. 2 and 1 were missing. I looked over, seeing a small pile of ash sitting on the countertop, and a lighter. I continued to read.
Project Management: Commander Dr. Charles Tamworth, R.A.N
Following that was some sort of biography, about how he went to some university or whatever.
Logline: Human Vivisection
Hypothesis: That the development of vivisection techniques without the use of painkillers will be able to formulate a plan for pain tolerance, and thus the combination of drugs –
I stopped right there. Anything with the word ‘section’ and in the field of medicine was bound to be bloody, and judging by the thickness of the folder, it could get a lot more gruseome, not to mention plainly unethical. I spun around, and found myself looking at a table. A lump, obscrued by a camoflauge fatigue cover rested on the metal table. A row of surgical instruments, lay scattered on the floor. Dried blood crusted on them. Taking off my backpack, and using some plastic bags neatly folded under the lab table, I gathered all the documents I could find and put them in, tying them securly onto my vest rack. Walking over, I breathed in and put my hand on the cloth.
And lifted it off.