I saw him land under the camera and in one clean smash, remove the camera from its bracket.
“Move in, kill anything that moves.” His voice had the unmistakable tingle of excitement in it.
I fell myself tilt forward, and an instant later, shoot myself at the door below the empty bracket. I landed on my left foot, levered myself around, and jumped towards the wall inside. Feet first onto the wall, I surveyed the room, and landed.
Nothing, except a small hatch on the floor; not even anyone guarding the hatch.
“Extreme prejudice?” I needed an affirmation to go on a killing spree.
I opened the hatch and peeped in. I could hear the sound of people, talking, chatting, and working down there. 5 metres under the ground, the place seemed well-lit and I could clearly see the grey concrete floor from the entrance.
“Get in. Go south. I’ll come in after you and take north.”
And with that, I began what I would remember as a bloodbath of titanic proportions.
“Kill counter, on”, I said as I jumped in. 5 metres down in less than a second. I turned north, and lunged toward the wall of the wide passage. I had definitely alerted the people around.
Men and women in lab coats, casuals, loitering, chatting, some going around with boards and charts in their hands, some with coffee mugs in their hands, all going about whatever they were doing. They looked like such a harmless bunch. That is, until I saw a graphic on one of the lab coats.
“Biological alteration is the future. Cyberization is dangerous, unethical, and has no long-term benefits. God wanted us to remain fully human.” That was what it said.
In the next 5 seconds, my visor was blurred with the spattering blood all around me, and my kill counter ticked like it had gone defunct. It did not matter that these people were wrong and proud of it. It mattered that I was going to remove this filth off the face of the planet. Their biological was creating mindless creatures in human bodies, with no free will.
A zombie army, as a kid would’ve called it.
6 seconds, and 15 kills in, I saw an armoured soldier lunging at me.
“DIE!” Again, that involuntary, raging, roar as I felt my palms clasp around his neck and rip it off his spine mid-air. No one was going to survive. These worthless excuses for humans had tried to kill me, to kill us, numerous times before, all for the purpose of what they called ‘biological alteration and enhancement of the body, mind, soul, and being’.
Dead ahead, I saw what looked like a lobby. Complete panic had taken over. Filth looked beautiful when it panicked, but filth, nevertheless, had to be cleaned.
“Don’t destroy any hardware. Only people,” Andrew’s calm voice over the subvocal.
I didn’t reply as I saw the three people manning the main desk come closer with my lunge. I saw the panic on their faces as my palm closed in on their skulls. And then I saw their faces crumple.
“You’re fun to work with, Isaac.” I heard Anders’ voice over the comm.
I didn’t know what would make him say that, but then again, I didn’t care. The lobby was littered with corpses in the next 10 seconds. It looked like a storm from hell had blown through it. Nothing moved. Everyone was dead, faceless.
I landed behind the main desk, faced then passage and looked around. To my left, two doors, ‘Communication’, and to its right, ‘Manufacturing’. To my right, another two, ‘Armoury’, and to its right, ‘Testing’.
“Communication, manufacturing, testing and armoury.” I said, my jaws still.
“General storage and sample quarantine here. Wait,” Andrews said.
2 seconds and the concrete of the wall behind me cracked under the force of Andrews’ feet hitting it.
“Let’s not waste time. Communications.” His voice seemed more relaxed now.
We walked over to the door which had ‘Communications’ lit above it in green light.
“Wait. I’m pretty sure there’s someone in there.”
“So am I, what’s your point?” Andrews replied.
Andrews looked at the desk, which now had three corpses lying on the floor behind it. He walked up to it, opened all the lockers, and from the third one, took out two shotguns. He examined them for a moment and said, “They’re magazine type. No bolt-action. It’s our lucky day. They’re both loaded; ten shots. Aim at the enemy.”
He threw me one and strolled towards the door, gun cocked.
There was a hydraulic hiss, and the door slid open. An instant later, I heard the gun fire. If it hadn’t been for the padding over my ears, it was deafeningly loud. An instant later, I saw an armoured figure slump to the ground, with half a head.
“Well, I could say that went better than expected.” He has a wide grin on his face.
We entered, cautiously watching for any movement. There was none. No one had the time to escape. Panic led to chaos, and a chaotic escape was a slow, inefficient escape.
“They’ve got all basic comm systems online. Shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll get to work.” I was doing this, not him.
“Sure. I’ll see what all this station can do.”
I got to work at one of the transmission stations. They had all the basic equipment, including an encryption toggle mode. One of the modes, was the basic encryption I’d use to transmit the distress signal an hour or so back. This was where it had ended up.
I tried the main frequency, the entire high=frequency band, encrypting it with the key I had in my suit.
“This is Unit 401. We are stranded in an enemy outpost. We have taken forced control. This is Unit 401. We are in enemy territory. We require immediate assistance.”
This time, a live voice replied instantly.
“Unit 401, please input authentication code after the blip.”
“Platoon 7, ID: 722FG2-1-6-4-B.”
“Authenticated. We are now switching you over to live feed.”
“This is Isaac of Platoon 7. I and Platoon Commander Andrews are stranded in uncharted enemy territory, and we need evacuation from an enemy base. Our suits will pinpoint our locations.”
“Confirmed. We’re sending a rescue team immediately. Also, communication is now safe through your suits. Use the D12 encryption.” A male, deep voice answered back.
“Understood. We would also like a scout team to comb this area for any enemy outposts in a ten-mile radius. We expect at least 6 to a dozen more.” I sounded exceptionally calm.
“Affirmative. Now stay put. You’ll have reinforcements within 3 hours.”
I switched off the line.
“Isaac, we have a problem, they managed to send a little something”
“A distress signal.”