By 9:00PM two whole divisions of the United States Marine Corp had cordoned off the Fort Lauderdale Interstellar Space Project Command. There was also a division of the United Nations Coalition Army at the crash site.
Lt Harper had been assigned to the squad that he had fought with during the Third World War. The squad had been commanded by General Williams to enter the ship and discover the source of the crash. They moved through the ship slowly. It was dark, dank and quite scary. The ship creaked under its own weight. It had not been designed to act as seesaw, wobbling on a fulcrum between the part of the ship underground and the part jutting out of the ground. A large part of the ship had collapsed off of the rest of the vessel as it had crashed. It was at the other end of the runway, burning into the night. Another part had broken off during re-entry. It was now sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Electrical sparks went off everywhere. The ship had taken a lot of damage. It would never be used again, that was the one thing they were sure of. The ship was pitch black inside, so flashlight extensions on their MP74 caseless sub machine guns were necessary.
“Overall damage, 95%.” Lt Harper stated. He looked around using a special device to check the electrical circuits for power sources and to check there was no harmful radiation.
Three other people had joined Lt Harper. Lt Michael Curb, a New Yorker who had served with Lt Harper since they had joined the army. Sgt William Johnson, an African-American from Los Angeles. He had met Lt Harper in France during the armistice in 2547. They had become friends there and then, mainly because Sgt Johnson had saved Lt Harper’s life, when a French revolutionary tried to kill him.
Captain Nigel Park was an old-fashioned, by the book captain from Hereford. He had served with Lt Harper in the Middle East campaign and from then on had always been Lt Harper’s captain. Finally, there was Sgt Tom Deer, the new guy. He had only fought with the team once, when he was a corporal in the advance on Russia. His comrades knew him as Mr Death Wish.
“No Survivors. Sir, we’re wasting our time.” Sgt Deer sneered.
“We’re not looking for survivors; we’re looking for what did this.” Captain Park barked back. “Idiot.” he said under his breath.
Suddenly muffled noises could be heard outside. Some were louder than others, but the squad couldn’t make them out.
“What’s going on out there?” Sgt Johnson asked.
“Ignore it; we’ve got an objective to complete.” Lt Harper replied.
“Wait, I found a contact. It’s big. Very big.” Lt Curb said cautiously.
“Let’s move!” Captain Park ordered.
The team moved deeper into the buried ship. There was absolutely no light in this part of the ship. Natural light had no place here. The only light came from the squad’s flashlights. The ship creaked and groaned as the metal desperately tried to retain its shape under the enormous weight of the earth and hanger on top of it.
“This place gives me the creeps.” Lt Curb said quietly.
“Everything gives you the creeps.” Lt Harper said jokingly.
There was a sudden muffled scream and the team stopped dead in their tracks.
“What the hell is that?” Sgt Johnson asked whispering.
“Check your weapons.” Captain Park said. He gave a move forward hand signal and the team continued.
“You know, I think it’s just a…” Lt Curb began before being interrupted by a terrifying roar that emanated from deeper in the ship.
The roar was ear piercing. Sgt Deer lost all sense of duty, bravery and courage and wanted to get out of the ship. He began to panic and shout.
“Oh, I did not sign up for this shit! I’m getting out of here!” Sgt Deer screamed as he began to run off.
“Sergeant, get back here!” Captain Curb ordered.
“Hey, fuck you man!” Sgt Deer replied. He ran down a corridor that joined onto the corridor the team were in and ran around a corner.
Down the corridor was a small fire. Sgt Deer had run down there as part of an instinct, running towards light. There was a thud and Sgt Deer’s shadow in the flickering light of the flame was seen falling over. There was a terrifying roar and Sgt Deer screamed with all his might. It was horrific. A second shadow appeared pinning Sgt Deer to the floor with a bayonet. There was a whirring sound and Sgt Deer gave out bloody yelps and screams as his blood and organs splattered against the walls of the corridor. The screaming stopped. A thin stream of blood ran towards the remnants of the squad who stood paralysed with fear. They had no idea what was behind that wall but they didn’t want to find out.
Captain Park didn’t drop his ‘by the book attitude’, even in this situation. He had a mission to complete, and by God he would complete it. “Get ready to fire!” He ordered.
“I’ve got a better idea.” Lt Harper said. “RUN!!!!” He continued as he began to run back up the hallway they had just come down. Nobody hesitated in following Lt Harper’s idea, even Captain Park ran after him. The team ran as fast as they could to what was left of the engines. Lt Harper wasted no time in using stairs in the engine room. He just jumped off the entrance balcony and out the engine port. The team followed him. Lt Harper felt relief when he hit the grass that surrounded Saturn on one side. He sat up and recoiled as he noticed a dead soldier with a burning hole in his chest. He turned around to see all of the soldiers were dead, all of the vehicles were destroyed, and the Fort Lauderdale skyline was burning. He looked out at Fort Lauderdale in horror when a bright blue beam erupted from the sky. In the light of the beam, he saw what caused it, a huge spacecraft. He looked directly above him and saw another one. There were hundreds of them. Aliens, extraterrestrials, whatever you wanted to call them. The team stood gob smacked. This was far bigger than a crashed spaceship.