Hell and Revenge

Military Mining Station MN-1324

Peabody tried to wipe the sweat from his forehead, but only succeeded in smearing the grime that clung to his skin. “I’ll be glad when I get rotated out of this shit,” he swore to himself as he dropped the Muncher into low gear. The Muncher looked like a cross between a tractor and giant mole, designed to bore tunnels into bedrock. It was tiring, dirty work, and extremely dangerous. Several Muncher operators had died when the tunnels they had been boring broke into lava chambers or had collapsed upon them. This Muncher, an old relic that had been called into service after an accident a week ago, dug like an old man. Peabody nursed the controls, trying to get his quota of tunnel in before his shift was over. As if reading his mind, the Muncher groaned like a dying animal, the heat-exchange alarm screamed and the Muncher ground to a halt, the whine of the turbine winding down into silence.

“Damn!” Peabody slapped the alarm-reset switch, then leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. “Just another week,” he told himself. “Just another week and Ill be out of this hell hole.” He pulled out his earplugs, tossed them on the dash, and reached for his thermos. All he could do was wait until the machine cooled off; he wouldn’t make his quota today, and that meant no bonus. Well, they didn’t call this place Hell’s Mouth for nothing.

There was one consolation though: the Canteen made damn good coffee. He unscrewed the cap on his thermos and poured a splash of black coffee into the cup. The coffee jiggled in the cup, the Muncher lurched and the cup slid off the dash tossing hot coffee into his lap. Peabody gripped the edge of his seat and stared nervously at the roof of the tunnel through the windscreen. The Muncher lurched again and rocks clanged on the cab as the tremor gained strength. Peabody held on to the seat; it was all he could do.

As suddenly as it struck, the tremor died away. Peabody sighed and bent down to retrieve his cup. A strange growling sound filled the tunnel, like the sound of an animal, and yet, like nothing he had never heard before. The sound made his skin crawl. He couldn’t tell where the sound was coming from; it seemed to fill the tunnel from every direction. He sat frozen, unable to move although his mind screamed at him to flee. The growling changed to a deep moaning that faded to silence.

He sat staring out the windscreen. “Only a week,” he said to himself. “Only a week.”

Warehouse 54B, New York

Jameson stepped into the warehouse, and crinkled his nose at the ripe smell of fish mingled with the tang of machine oil. The note had said the meeting was in a back storeroom. Slowly, he made his way through crates and machinery to a brightly lit room in the back.

“Ah, Jameson,” Carson said as he stepped into the storeroom, “glad you made it. Please, have a seat.” Jameson nodded and sat in a folding chair that faced a whiteboard and overhead projector.

“We’re waiting for one more team member to arrive,” Carson said. “We’ve got coffee if you’re in the mood.”

“Thanks, I’m fine,” Jameson said. Half a dozen men occupied the other chairs, most of the inner group of the Greenfront. Everyone was quiet, sipping coffee or just staring at nothing in particular. Carson, standing by the overhead projector, shuffled papers and looked over notes. Jameson sat quietly, his face impassive, but inside excitement was building. This was the break he had been hoping for; getting inside the Greenfront.

The Greenfront was a radical environmentalist group, fond of blowing up factories and assassinating politicians who opposed tough environmental laws. Yet, the FBI, CIA and Interpol suspected that environmentalism was just a cover, mainly because Carson wasn’t an environmentalist. Standing just less than six feet, dressed in a light blue suit and wearing silver rimmed glasses, Samuel Carson looked like an account, not a well-trained killer. Trained by the Special Forces, Carson’s specialty had been covert ops, infiltration and assassination. His career had ended suddenly though, when he was arrested for carrying out an unauthorized assassination of a troublesome African leader. Carson maintained at his hearing that he had been following orders; that he was being made a scapegoat. The orders, if they ever existed, were never revealed.

The verdict of the trial was a dishonorable discharge, but no jail time. Carson then turned to mercenary work. The file that Jameson had read before taking the assignment to infiltrate the Greenfront, had reports of Carson showing up in several major and minor wars. There were reports of Carson showing up in the Philippians, South America and during the Texas War of Independence. Known to be working for India during the India-Pakistani Conflict, he staged commando operations against the Chinese after they tried to sweep into the Middle East after India and Pakistan settled their differences with nuclear weapons. Then for six years, Carson vanished. When he resurfaced, so did the Greenfront. Jameson did not believe that Carson suddenly got religion. What he did get though, was a mystery. One that Jameson was determined to solve.

The door to the storeroom opened and a tall black man entered, carrying a briefcase. It was Jeremiah Washington, Carson’s right hand man and top lieutenant. Washington handed the briefcase to Carson and sat down.

“All right, “ Carson said, setting the briefcase by the projector, “let’s begin.” He slipped a sheet of plastic onto the overhead and turned on the projector. A map of an island appeared on the whiteboard. “This is Mata Bora, a small island in the Pacific. The military runs a mining operation here. This is our next target. I have been working on getting passage on one of the supply ships and have managed to get a berth on the next ship. I’m afraid though, this won’t be much of a cruise.”

The men laughed as Carson exchanged the map with a close-up, satellite image of the island. “As you can see here,” Carson pointed to a mountain in the center of the picture, “there is an active volcano on the island. We’ll be able to use that to our advantage. Many of the mining tunnels have encountered lava fissures, and according to my sources, many of the tunnels are close to the main magma plug. It shouldn’t be hard to fill the whole complex with lava through the use of properly placed charges.”

Carson pointed to several building on the map. “These building here are administrative offices, quarters, canteen, supply depots and power plant. There is only a token security force on the island, stationed at these points here and here. Nobody cares about the island, except for us, so the military isn’t too concerned about infiltration. We’ll use that to our advantage as well.”

Carson opened a cardboard box and handed a stack of papers to Washington who distributed the packets to the men in the chairs. “Jameson,” Carson said, “a word please.” Jameson headed to the front.

“I know you haven’t been with the organization long, but I like the work you’ve been doing,” Carson said. ”That’s why I asked you come to the briefing. I want you to go along on this operation.”

“Thank you, sir,” Jameson said. “I appreciate the opportunity.”

“Not at all, you’ve earned it. However, I do have a special job for you. The ship I spoke of is scheduled to leave in two days. I paid off the captain, but he now wants a few extra dollars. I don’t have time to try and persuade him that he was paid enough, so I want you to drop off this briefcase to him. It contains another ten thousand dollars, so watch your back. Here is the address.” Carson handed him a slip of paper with a hotel address and room number on it. “He wants this tonight, or it’s a no show on the ship.”

Jameson nodded. “I understand.”

“Good. I know this is errand boy stuff, but it is important. Drop this off and head back over here. I’ll catch you up when you get back.”

“Will do.”

“Great,” Carson said, slapping Jameson on the back. “I’ll see you when you get back.”

Jameson tossed the briefcase onto the passenger seat of his Mustang and pointed the car toward the hotel. Taking side streets and carefully watching his rear view mirror, when he satisfied that he wasn’t being tailed, he pulled into an alley and cut the engine. It only took him ten seconds to jimmy open the briefcase. Bundles of twenty-dollar bills lined the bottom of the briefcase. A paper-clipped sheaf of papers, sat on top of the money: a cargo manifest, listing several hundred pounds of explosives and several crates of military grade weapons.

Jameson grabbed his secure cell and punched in a number. “One Hour Laundry,” a female voice said.

“I wanted to check on my seersucker suit,” Jameson said.

“One moment please.” The phone clicked once and a man came on the line. “Hayduke.”

“I’ve made it to the inner circle,” Jameson said. “The next target is Mata Bora. I need backup at…” Jameson felt cold metal against his temple and a hand reached for the cell. Jameson turned his eyes and saw Carson holding a silenced 9-millimeter against his head. Carson smiled and turned off the cell phone.

“The briefcase had a locator in it,” Carson explained. “I wanted to be sure my suspicions were correct. Too bad, Jameson. I liked you.”

“I suppose this is where I get the torture treatment,” Jameson said.

“Not at all,” Carson said. “This is where you die.”

Jameson’s eyes widened. He never felt the bullet.

“What if whoever he worked for, puts two and two together?” Washington asked.

“Doesn’t matter if they do,” Carson said. “Right about now, the cargo ship should be a hundred miles off the coast of MN-1324. In twelve hours we’ll be on the ship, and in four more, we’ll be on the island. The operation should take no more than four hours. We’ll be in and out before these bureaucratic monkeys can work up the chain of command.”

“What about him?” Washington asked, pointing to the body of Jameson.

“Leave him. The clean up crew should be here any minute,” Carson said. “We have a plane to catch.”

Marine Corps Intelligence Department, Department of Defense, North American Alliance, Washington, D.C.

Mark Stiles rapped once on the door to the Director’s office, and then entered. The office was large, one wall covered in books, the other lined with three computers and a bank of secure phones. The office was windowless—it was too easy to record conversations using a laser microphone. Director Johnson stood up behind a large mahogany desk in the center of the office and motioned to a chair. Stiles saluted and sat in the chair.

“Coffee?” Johnson asked, pouring coffee from a pot into a large mug that had the words Semper Fi stamped on the side.

“Thank you, sir,” Stiles said taking the cup. The coffee was hot and strong. Navy style his Dad used to call it.

“I have my coffee shipped in from the Navy offices,” Johnson said, sipping out of his own mug. “They make a helluva good cup of joe.”

Stiles smiled and nodded. This was the first time he had been in the Director’s office and he was a bit nervous. Generally, when you were called in to see the Old Man, you either had screwed the pooch somewhere along the line, or had done something better than right. As far as Stiles could remember, he hadn’t done either.

“How’s the old man,” Johnson asked.

“Dad? Ornery as ever.”

Johnson smiled. “I worked with your dad before he retired. Good man. We had some, shall we say, interesting times together.” Stiles father had been a Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence. Still was actually; you never really retired from the business. “I bet he shit a brick when you joined the Marines.”

“He did share some colorful language about the subject,” Stiles admitted. Stiles always knew he would join the military, but he decided to make his own mark and not follow in his father’s footsteps. Although, when you got right down to it, the Marines were not a far step from the Navy. “He finally admitted that he was relieved I didn’t join the Air Force.”

Johnson laughed. “Well, I didn’t ask you here to reminiscence, as enjoyable as that is. I have an assignment for you.”

“Sir?”

“Last night I got a call from the Director of the FBI. Seems one of their agents has gone missing. He was working undercover, trying to get into the Greenfront.”

“Carson,” Stiles said.

“Exactly,” Johnson said. “The last communication they received from their agent mentioned Mata Bora as a target.”

“MN-1324? Why would he go after a mining operation?”

“That is what I want you to find out. This may all be a ruse, something to divert us from the real target—if there is a real target. I have a hard time believing that Carson would let slip operational plans—he’s too good. My feeling is that this is red herring, but I am sending you out to Mata Bora to look around anyway.”

“Yes sir,” Stiles nodded.

“I contacted the security chief on the island, had him step up patrols.”

“Any activity in the area?”

“Nothing, nothing at all. Still it is worth a look. I have you booked on a VTOL that leaves in four hours.” Johnson handed Stiles a folder. “Some background info on the mining operation. Questions?”

Stiles set his coffee mug on a coaster. “No sir. Thank you for the coffee.”

“Very good.” Johnson stood and offered his hand. Stiles shook the massive paw and then saluted.

“This may be nothing,” Johnson said, “but watch yourself anyway.”

“Yes, sir.”

Seaplane PYB-1284, Pacific Rim

Carson stared out the window of the rocking seaplane and silently watched the sun reflect off the ocean. He was nearing the end of a decade long mission. He would soon have his revenge.

The mission of revenge had started in a sleepy village on the coast of one of the smaller islands in the Philippians. He had spent the night in the hut of an old fisherman, and while they ate dinner, the old man told him the story of an island inhabited by demons. When the old man had been a young boy, out fishing with father, their boat had been caught in a sudden squall. They ended up on an island where, according to the old man, monsters walked in the night. Carson listened politely, and then dismissed the story. Until he heard a similar story while he was in South America.

While sitting in a bar in Peru, he struck up a conversation with a Japanese sailor. After the sailor had consumed half a dozen shots of Tequila, he told Carson about a strange island that his ship had stopped at during a storm. The island had an active volcano and the sailor said that several of the crew disappeared in the night. The bodies were found the next day, torn to shreds.

“Probably a panther,” Carson said, “or some other wild animal.”

“No,” the sailor said, shaking his head. He pulled a black case from a pocket in his jacket and placed it on the bar. “I found this by one of the bodies,” he said opening the case.

Carson looked. “Son of a bitch,” he breathed. Lying on a strip of cloth was a large, claw-tipped finger. The skin on the severed finger was pinkish red, and seemed to pulse as if it was still alive. The black claw was curved, looking as sharp as a razor.

“This was by the body?”

“Yes. Severed by a knife,” the sailor said. “Look at the skin. It hasn’t decayed at all and I have had it for over a year.”

“Did you see the owner of this?” Carson asked.

“No. We took the bodies back to the ship and left.”

“Could you show me where this island is located?”

“Sure, but you do not want to go there. It is an evil place.” Despite the warning, he did go to the island, but the trip was a disappointment. The only thing Carson found was a semi-active volcano and lots of jungle. Still, the story stuck with him.

A year later, an ex-army buddy told him that the military had set up a mining camp on the island. “And that’s not all,” his buddy said. “I hear that a lot of strange stuff is going on there.”

“Like what?”

“Freak accidents, people disappearing, stuff like that. They say the place is haunted by an old volcano god.”

“Yeah right,” Carson laughed. “Let’s have another drink.” The next day though, he tracked down some of the miners who had worked at the mining camp. Posing as a freelance reporter, he questions the men about the mine. These hard working, unimaginative, practical men all told the same story: There was something very strange about the island. They told him of freak accidents, of miners disappearing and then reappearing mentally unhinged; if they returned alive at all. They spoke of lava filling tunnels or collapsing on the workers, and all of them had at least once, heard the strange “voices,” as they called them, while working in the tunnels. They called the place Hell’s Mouth, and none of them wanted to go back.

Carson decided he had to go look for himself and once again visited the island. Infiltrating the island was easy; the military only had a token security force. Carson claimed an empty bunk, kept to himself and became a miner. The work crews were rotated regularly and nobody took noticed a new face in the crowd.

After a month, he found what he was looking for. He was working in a tunnel by himself, using a hand-drill to dig out a vein of ore when he heard the “voice.” It was like the growl of an animal, and yet, not quite an animal. He dropped the drill and headed deeper into the tunnel, sweeping his headlamp back and forth in the darkness, and then he saw it: red eyes reflecting back the light. He stopped and stared at those eyes, the cold hand of terror sliding up his spine. Then the eyes vanished as suddenly as they had appeared. Carson swept the tunnel with his light, but it was empty.

He slipped out the next day, convinced that there was indeed something unearthly on, or in, the island. As he headed back to the mainland on the transport ship, a plan began to take shape in his mind. This was an opportunity to get back at those who had used and then discarded him. Whatever was in that volcano, he was going to let it out.

He started the Greenfront, using environmentalism as a cover. It was a convenient way to raise funds and recruit bodies. Environmentalism was the current rage since the greenhouse effect seemed to be getting worse; Carson used that to his advantage. The various intelligence agencies dogging him weren’t fooled of course, but he wanted it that way. He wanted them to know who it was that had opened the door to Hell.

“Making final approach,” the pilot said over the intercom. “Better buckle up, it looks to be a bit choppy down there.” Carson buckled his seat belt and smiled. Final approach; that sounded just about right.

Washington National Airport, Arlington, Virginia

The VTOL was warming up when Stiles jumped into the cockpit beside the pilot. It was warm, so he slipped off his jacket before buckling into the seat. “All ready,” he told the pilot.

The pilot gave him a thumbs up, and then pointed to the tattoo on his arm, a Chinese flag that was being cut in two by a flaming sword. “You were at The Big Fight?”

Stiles nodded.

“Damn,” said the pilot.

“Yeah,” Stiles said.

The Big Fight. It was a memory Stiles wished he could forget, but he knew it would always be a part of him. As with many wars in recent times, it had started because of oil; the Chinese were running out of it. Faced with an ever growing population that even the most hard-line of birth laws could not stem, a failed nuclear power program, a global economy that was barely hanging on in the face of numerous conflicts, shortages of easily obtained energy resources and a greenhouse effect on the rise, China was faced with the prospect of increasing internal conflict and possibly the ultimate demise of the last bastion of Communism in the world. When the long running dispute between India and Pakistan ended in a fit of nuclear rage, China moved. The goal: the rich oil fields in the Iran Freestate and the Democratic Republic of Iraq. Four million troops, consisting mainly of fast moving light armor, crossed the border into India and swept toward Pakistan, the doorway into the Middle East.

Stiles had been stationed in Afghanistan when the call came to mobilize. The Chinese threat had always been in the mind of the war planners, so Afghanistan hosted forces from a number of countries. The United States of Europe, the North American Alliance, the Republic of Texas, and various smaller forces called Afghanistan home. The total amounted to half a million troops, a respectable number, but insignificant in the face of a calvary four million strong. The coalition forces were tasked with one job: slow down the Chinese advance until reinforcements could be brought to the field. It was a suicidal mission, and everyone knew it.

The Pacific Carrier group of the North American Alliance were ordered to steam toward the South China Sea to launch a rear-guard attack. The navies of the United States of Europe steamed toward the Bay of Bengal. The Russians fielded all their light and heavy calvary units to open up a northern front. Calvary units from the Middle east were moving through the Iran Freestate into Pakistan. None of it would arrive in time to help the thin line of coalition forces facing the Chinese onslaught.

Stiles’ unit moved down into the mountains of Pakistan. He remembered the feeling of awe and terror when he saw the wave of Chinese troops advancing on their line. As far as the eye could see, line after line of light armor and soldiers. It was a tidal wave of humanity, intent on crushing everything in its path. “We’re dead men,” he clearly remembered thinking.

The meager air force stationed in Afghanistan pounded the Chinese front line with MOAB IV bombs, cluster munitions and tank killers. Tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers died, thousands of lightly armored tanks were destroyed. It was like spitting in the ocean. The Chinese, armed with mobile SAM units, knocked down plane after plane. Ninety percent of the planes sent against the Chinese were shot down, and the advance continued.

The rapid advance of the Chinese army slowed in the mountains, but only slightly. The first twenty-fours hours of the engagement were a blur in Stiles’ mind. Bullets, mortars and artillery pounded the mountains and the Chinese front. The one thing he remembered clearly, men died.

The line held for a day, before being overrun. Out of a hundred men in his unit, only Stiles and one of his unit mates survived the fall back order. He hooked with a commando force from the Republic of Texas, and dressed in stolen Chinese uniforms and using stolen weapons, they conducted hit and run raids, targeting the supply chain for the army. For four days, striking mostly at night, they destroyed supply trucks, SAM units and any other target of opportunity.

The Chinese made it as far as the Iranian Freestate before the advanced stalled in the face of growing opposition. Allied forces attacking from the north and south cut off the Chinese army supply chain, and then surrounded the stranded units. Carrier based aircraft pounded the Chinese as Russian and Iraqi heavy armor squeezed from the north, east and west.

China fielded another 100 million soldiers, but it wasn’t enough to stem the tide rising against them. They had the men, but didn’t have the fuel. In a last desperate attempt to win the war, China launched tactical nuclear weapons against allied forces. The response was swift and devastating. Submarines, stationed off the coast of China, launched nuclear tipped cruise missiles. In the space of two hours, China was pounded back into the Stone Age.

Stiles survived, along with three other men from the Texas commando force, and eventually hailed a British submarine off the coast of India. They all received the North American Alliance Medal of Honor and Medal of Valor. The medals did little to relieve the pain and guilt of surviving when all his friends had died. After the war, Stiles father pulled some strings and pushed through a transfer and he ended up in Marine Intelligence. Stiles didn’t mind. He’d seen enough war to last a lifetime.

It seemed so long ago, and yet, at the same time, it seemed like it all had just happened yesterday. Shaking off the ghosts of memory, he opened the file Director Johnson had given him and began reading.

MN-1324, Coastal Approach

Six Zodiac rafts bounced over the swelling ocean toward the island with Carson’s raft leading the landing. It was a dark night, perfect for landing undetected. Carson scanned the approaching beach wearing night vision goggles, looking for any opposing forces. The beaches seemed clear. With a whispered command into the microphone slung near his mouth, the engines were cut and Zodiacs slid silently onto the beach.

The cargo ship was already on its way with its load of explosives. Carson wanted to secure the security force and any miners who were in a mood to fight before the ship arrived. They would attack silently and swiftly, set up the charges in the tunnels and then slip out before any reinforcements the authorities might send arrived.

Each team consisted of six men, six teams in total. Each man was dressed in black wearing night vision goggles and armed with HK G11-Fs, a boxy combat rifle with automatic sight locking and firing tiny rocket-propelled bullets. It was a silent, deadly, fire and forget weapon.

Carson spread out his teams along the chain-link fence that surrounded the mining camp. His first objective was the station’s power plant. His team would infiltrate the camp and shut down the plant while the other teams waited outside the fence. Once the power had been cut, the other teams would slip through the fence and secure the camp.

Carson led his team along the fence, freezing when a patrol walked by, to the main water exchange system of the power plant. The power plant used seawater as a coolant, pumped up from the ocean in large steel pipes. It was the perfect entrance since the pipes made a nice gap in the fence, and allowed unrestricted access to the back of the building.

Climbing up on the large, rumbling pipes, Carson tossed a hook up onto the roof of the building. There was a clank as the hook caught, and after a couple of hard test tugs on the rope, he sent his men one by one onto the roof of the power plant. Laying flat on the roof, he scanned the compound. There were quite a number of patrols, so Jameson’s message had gotten through. Good.

He tapped Washington on the shoulder and pointed to the ventilation duct that protruded through the roof of the building. Washington nodded, unpacked a small tool belt, and quickly cut a hole through the sheet metal using a laser torch. One by one, the team members entered the power plant.

Carson stationed a man by a ventilation grill in each of the main power station areas, taking the control center himself. The night vision goggles wouldn’t help here, the control center was brightly lit, so he slipped them off and clipped them to his belt. There were half dozen technicians and one guard in the room. The guard appeared to be the only one armed.

“Status,” Carson whispered into his mic. Each man whispered a “ready” reply.

“Now,” Carson said. He kicked the grill, and dropped into the control room. The guard jumped and went for his pistol. Carson pegged him with the G11’s laser sight and pulled the trigger. The gun hissed and the guard slammed against the wall, a fist-sized hole in his chest gushing blood. The technicians screamed and bolted for the door. Carson fired a round that exploded into the ceiling. The technicians froze in their tracks.

“You,” Carson said pointing a thin, blonde woman dressed in a white lab coat. “Shut down the power to the camp.”

“No,” she said stubbornly.

“Listen, if you all want to live, then do as I say,” Carson said.

“Do it!” A man standing beside the woman whispered. She took a deep breath, walked over to the control panel, and began shutting down the systems. The room went dark, and the emergency lighting winked on. Carson slipped on his night vision goggles and pointed the G11 at the group of technicians. “Stay here and you’ll stay alive.”

In the hallway, he met the other members of his team. “Plant secured,” Washington said.

“All right, let’s move,” Carson said. Outside the plant, gunfire filled the night as the other teams infiltrated the camp. Carson hit the crew quarters locking the miners into their bunkhouse and took out the odd security team when they appeared. In thirty minutes, the camp was secure.

The cargo ship arrived an hour later. Moving quickly, the men unloaded the explosives and moved them into the mine tunnels using heavy loaders. Carson remained topside, coordinating the rigging of the explosives. So far, everything was going according to plan.

“How’s it going Washington?” Carson asked into his mic.

“Looking good,” Washington said. “We’re setting the timers now.”

“Good. Daylight is coming. I want to be out of here within the hour.”

“Roger…What the hell?”

“Washington?”

“Son of bit—“ A heavy explosion rocked the ground. Flames belched from the tunnel entrance, followed by thick black smoke.

“Washington!” Carson ran toward the tunnel entrance. “Come in!”

A scream sounded in the smoke, followed by roar and the sound of snapping bones. Carson stopped and stared at he smoke as it swept toward him. He began to back away slowly as a figure appeared out of the smoke, firing his G11 until the gun as empty. There were several shadows now in the smoke and they were still advancing. Carson turned to run, but a ball of green fire slammed into his back, knocking him to the ground. He rolled onto his back and scrabbled away as a creature, monster, whatever it was, advanced upon him. The thing toward above him and as he stared into its hideous face, he saw those same red eyes he had seen so long ago.

MN-1324, Final Approach

“Nothing,” the pilot said. “All I get is dead air.”

“Give me a turn around the camp,” Stiles said. The pilot hovered the VTOL above the camp and slowly turned the craft in a circle. The camp seemed deserted—not a soul moved. There was damage on some of the buildings, and Stiles could see a couple of bodies laying face down in the dirt. Something had happened here.

“Take it down,” Stiles told the pilot. The pilot brought the VTOL down on the landing pad, letting the machine idle. Stiles jumped down onto the pad concrete and shouted at the pilot. “Sit tight!” The pilot gave a thumbs up.

Stiles headed for the Administration building at a trot, pulling out his .45. The door to the building flapped in a light ocean breeze. The smell of rotten eggs was heavy in the air. Stiles moved into the building cautiously, gun ready. Inside, he saw blood smears on the walls and floors, but all the rooms were empty.

“What the hell,” Stiles murmured. A scream pierced through the slapping sound of the VTOL’s rotors and he bolted through the door. Something was in the VTOL cockpit with the pilot. He ran toward the landing pad. He was halfway to the airplane when the scream cut off abruptly and he saw a bright red splash of blood on the windscreen, followed by a green flash of light. The VTOL exploded, a wave of heat and sound knocking him onto his back. He shook his head and stood, his ears ringing.

He stood for a moment, staring at the burning wreckage, rubbing his head with his hand, when he heard a low growl that shifted into a weird wailing sound. A sound that made a cold shiver slid up his spine. The sound was—unearthly. It faded; leaving a silence that was just as eerie.

He was not alone on the island, but exactly who, or what, was here with him?

Author's Note

This was another back-story to another wad project that never made it to completion. I liked this story though as it was something a little different then the usual Doomish stories.