Chapter II

Adam went deeper into the water than he expected, and was quickly engulfed in his own parachute. Water filled his eyes, nose, and ears, the salty sting burning through his head. He didn't know which way was up, but he was running out of breath fast.

He desperately swam for the surface, hoping he was going in the right direction. He couldn't hold his breath much longer, and he was already panicking.

Suddenly he broke the surface, and was blinded by the bright sun. He quickly recovered, took many deep breaths, and gathered his wits.

He looked around. He was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing but water, water, water, until... there! about two hundred meters away, was the lab, supported twenty feet above the water by rotting wooden beams. He began to swim.

Three minutes later, he was at the foot of the access ladder. The wood was rotting and several of the rungs were missing entirely.

He began the climb up the thirteen remaining rungs of the ladder. four rungs up, the ladder snapped, and Adam and the ladder collapsed together back into the water.

Adam's army uniform was getting heavy, with all the equipment he had to carry. He had to find another way up.

He circled the building for a while, looking for another way up. Finally, he found a support beam with some strange indents in it that would make great footholds. He put his foot in one of the indents, and hoisted himself up. He had a bit of trouble with his foot slipping on the wet wood, but he eventually got himself up. Once he was on top of the rectangular platform surrounding the lab, he turned around and faced out to the ocean.

He listened to the sound of the seagulls calling in the clear blue sky, and remembered when he was seven, and his family went to the beach. Running out with his bucket and shovel, and making a sand castle that was almost bigger than him!

The mission, THE MISSION!  He jerked back into reality, and walked seven steps to the rotten wooden door. He reached out to open it, and the rusted brass doorknob broke right off and fell onto the wooden platform, chipping the green wood.

Since the doorknob was gone, and the lock was still in place, the only thing Adam could was kick in the door.

The lock broke with a crack, and Adam was suddenly witnessed to one of the most disturbing things he had ever seen. Broken lab equipment, tanks and tubes, cracked and empty, and worst of all, the blood. Dried blood smeared the walls everywhere, and not all of it looked human.

Adam felt his pockets until he located his ComLink. He pulled it out and hit the TRANSMIT button.

"Hello, HQ? This is Adam Walker. I've located the lab. It's... disturbing."

Static, and then the barely-audible reply from HQ. "Uh.. Roger that, Adam. Do you have details?"

Adam looked around. "Uh. Yeah. There's all the equipment, tanks and stuff, but it's all broken. Looks like there was a struggle, or a fight."

"Anything else?"

"Yeah." Adam continued, "There's blood everywhere. Fairly old, not even real blood anymore, just stains. I'd guess maybe, fifteen, twenty years ago. And...ugh, not all of it's red. There's stains, too."

There was a small pause, about twenty seconds, where Adam felt the crashing of the waves on the sea was the most terrifying sound he had ever heard, and the the reply from HQ.

"Uh... I didn;t quite copy that, did you say green blood stains, Adam?"

"Roger that, sir. Green." Adam was feeling kind of sick.

"Um. Ok, take some samples of all the blood, and a piece of the glass, then pull out of there. I'll send a transport to pick you up. Sending you to coordina-"

"Negative, sir." Adam interrupted. He had just noticed a large hole in the corner of the lab. He walked over to it.

"Um, excuse me, Adam? What did you find?"

Adam looked into the hole. Unusually dark water swirled below. He thought he could see something large moving below the surface. Just a fish, he thought.

"Uh, yeah. Negative. I'm gonna stay here for a while. I wanna examine some of this some more. I'll radio when I'm ready."

"Affirmative, Adam, but you're about to leave our Com range. You have to return to this lab if you want to contact us again. Anywhere else in the ocean and you'll get nothing but static." HQ replied.

"Gotcha." Adam replied, and walked away from the hole to look around some more.

The End

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