|Shadow of the Dark Moon
Author: Hammermaster PM
Hundreds of years after the supposed extinction of the Zerg the crew of a space station finds several Zerg frozen in the ice in an ice moon. But what happens when a killer appears? 3rd Chapter up.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Mystery - Chapters: 3 - Words: 10,334 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-29-06 - Published: 02-05-06 - id: 2786652
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Part III Plague
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Jack sighed, and pulled himself up to a sitting position. He winced as he moved his shoulder. Jack was sure there would be a nasty bruise there in a day or so. Jack then got to his feet, and looked over under the table where the girl was. Surprisingly, she was now awake, and was looking over at him in a surprised and slightly concerned manner. When Jack looked over at her, she blushed and looked away.
"Are you... are you Jack Daniels?" the girl asked.
"Yes," Jack said. "Who are you?"
"I'm Ann Donvin," she said. "I emailed you earlier. How did I get here?"
Ann shook her head to clear her vision, and put a hand to her head. It hurt pretty badly.
"I found you a ways back," Jack said, "and you fell unconscious, so I carried you here when the Zerg specimens came after you."
"Thanks," Ann said.
"How did they get loose?" Jack asked. "Did you set them loose?"
"No," Ann said. "But I think I know who it was who let them loose."
Ann crawled out from under the table, and slowly stood up to her feet. Jack did the same.
"What is it Josh?" Bob asked, turning to look at his pale faced partner.
"We have a problem."
"What problem?" Bob asked, looking back at Josh.
Josh just looked down the corridor to their left. Bob turned, and looked down the corridor. His eyes widened, and he took a step backwards. A strange bug like creature was slithering its way down the corridor towards them. Four tentacles sprouted right behind its hideous head, which flailed about, feeling its way along the ground.
"Bob..." Josh said, shivering. "I think its one of those Zerg creatures we found on the ice moon.
"Josh," Bob whispered. "Come with me. Maybe it won't see us."
Bob grabbed Josh's shoulder, and quietly dragged him along down the hallway away from the Zerg creature. Then he heard it roar. Bob started running, and so did Josh. The creature came slithering down the corridor faster than believed possible for such an animal.
"What is it?" Josh shouted.
"I think its called a Defiler!" Bob replied.
Bob looked back. The creature was in hot pursuit, its tentacles flailing about. He didn't know much about the Zerg, but he did know that the Defiler was not a soldier strain. But he also knew that traces of other Zerg creatures had been found in its stomach after a brief scan, so if it could eat its own kind it could surely eat humans. Plus those tentacles did not look pleasant.
Suddenly the Defiler arched its back, and launched a stream of red dust out of its back. The dust shot through the hallway, surrounding Bob and Josh, shrouding them in darkness. Bob coughed as the red dust burned his throat, got in his eyes and nose. Josh screamed, and continued running. Bob rubbed the red dust out of his eyes and continued staggering forward. The red dust didn't seem to bother the Defiler, for it came charging through the cloud after them.
Bob and Josh broke out from the red cloud, coughing and rubbing the dust out of their eyes and sneezing it out through their noses. But by then the Defiler had greatly decreased the ground between it and the two of them.
"You really think that the cook set them loose?" Jack asked.
Ann nodded with a faint smile.
"It attacked me in the kitchen with a knife. I'm sure that it is what's responsible for all this that has happened."
"That is true," Jack said. "But how could the cook be controlling the major computer systems?"
"I don't know," Ann said. "But if he gained control somehow, he could set the Zerg free, and..."
"You mean he set all of them free?"
"Not all of them," Ann said. "The ones in the high security chamber are still contained."
Jack knew what the high security chamber was. It was where the most volatile and the most dangerous species were kept.
"They are still contained."
"Yes," Ann said. "For some reason they were not released."
Jack sighed, and sat down on the ground thinking. Suddenly he looked up with a start. He heard someone screaming from far down the corridor. He immediately jumped up to his feet and grabbed the nearest weapon, which happened to be a flame thrower. Upgraded since the days of the Firebats, it was only a small one, not made for actual combat, so its supply of Napalm was significantly less than the older versions.
Jack stepped out into the hallway quietly, looking around for an enemy. Then suddenly Josh and Bob came streaking around a corner, running towards Ann and Jack.
"Jack!" Josh shouted. "Ann! Run for your lives! Its a filedaver!"
"That's defiler!" Bob corrected as he ran.
"Get out of the way!" Jack shouted.
He didn't really understand what was going on, but he knew the situation was urgent. Josh and Bob jumped aside. Then suddenly, a Zerg defiler rounded the corner and came scuttling across the floor towards them. Josh screamed. The defiler suddenly reared up like a centipede, hissing, and spewed a stream of red fluid out of its back onto Josh. Josh fell over, and Jack immediately activated the flame thrower, bathing the defiler in orange flame. It screeched, succumbing to the fire as its flesh burned under the inferno.
Jack didn't let up on the spray of fire, and the napalm continued to pump out from the device. Only until after that which remained of the defiler slumped to the ground and lay still. Jack released the trigger, and lowered the flamethrower, sighing. It was then that he looked over at Josh. He lay on the ground, with the red goo all over him.
"Someone please get it off me," he moaned in disgust. "Please get it off."
Bob took an old rag out of his pocket and started cleaning the red slime off of Josh's face and skin. Ann walked up and put a hand on Jack's back to get his attention. Jack turned to her.
"What is that?" she asked, nodding at the red goo.
"I did a little research on the defiler in my report," Jack whispered. "It secretes small organisms from within the pores in its back. These red microorganisms induce a deadly disease, known as a plague."
"Is it... fatal?" Ann whispered back, her eyes growing wide.
She was one of the few people besides Bob who could stand Josh's annoying habits, and constant hyperactivity. She liked him, for she found his antics rather funny. She didn't want him to die.
"Its not something to laugh at," Jack said grimly. "We need to get Josh medical help before he... before the effects become irreversible."
"Oh my," Ann said, her face growing worried.
Josh started crying while Bob continued cleaning the red slime off of him, while whispering encouraging words to him.
"It burns," Josh moaned.
"Be careful not to get any of that on your own skin," Jack warned Bob.
Josh shuddered violently as Bob scraped the last of the red slime off of him.
"What should I do with the rag?" Bob asked, looking up at Jack.
"Drop it," Jack said. "Help Josh to his feet, we need to get moving now."
Bob and Ann helped Josh to his feet, and half lead, half carried him down the hallway. When they were a fair distance away Jack activated the flame thrower and burned the rag and all the red slime which Bob had cleaned off of Josh. He then grabbed two pistols which he put in his pockets, and he strapped a large hunting knife to his belt. He also took the minigun, and several cases of ammo. Ann took the flamethrower.
"Where are we taking him?" Ann asked as they lead Josh down the hallway.
"To the medical room," Jack said. "There should be at least one TIR-56 there which I think we can use to destroy the infection before it spreads too far."
Somewhere in the great Space Station a figure stood in the darkness, a bloody knife clutched in its hands. As it clutched the knife tightly, its hand trembled as it sung a mournful dirge. The song of death. Below it lay the body of a man, torn apart like a butchered pig. The face of the dead man was permanently frozen in a mask of terror, the eyes screaming, and the mouth silent. The wordless song ended. The dark figure rose up, casting a shadow over the dead man. Then, silence filled the room. Soon the shadow was gone, along with the figure which had created it.
"Here Josh," Bob said as pointed the TIR that they had found at him.
Josh turned to him nervously.
"Will it hurt?" he shuddered nervously.
"Don't worry," Bob said, and then pulled the trigger.
A thin beam of light extended from the machine and touched Josh's skin lightly. Slowly the chemicals in the beam started doing their work.
Jack stood at the entrance with his machine gun in hand. There were still plenty other Zerg creatures loose in the space station, and he did not want to die. That's when he heard it. A hiss and a low growl from the corridors further down. He saw the faint shadow of a Hydralisk.
"We need to go," Jack said. "Now."
"Hold on," Bob said. "We're almost done."
Jack looked back down the hallway. A second shadow moved up next to the third one, responding to its growls. They seemed to be talking.
"Okay," Ann said. "Lets go!"
Bob and Ann helped Josh to his feet and walked over to the door. Jack held a hand out, warning them to stay put. The Hydralisks hissed and growled again. Then the shadows turned in the other direction.
"Go," Jack said. "Down the hallway."
Josh, Bob, and Ann hurried out of the room and started moving down the hallways quietly, but quickly. Jack readied the minigun and followed slowly behind them, keeping an eye on the Hydralisk shadows.
The Hydralisk shadows then moved forward, sniffing. They smelled the humans. Jack put his finger against the trigger. A Hydralisk head popped out from around the corner. Jack fired. A stream of bullets tore apart the wall and shattered into the creature's head, causing it to duck back whimpering. The other beast snarled,and barrelled forward into the hallway, sending a stream of spines everywhere. Jack opened fire on the creature as it charged, the bullets cutting through carapace and skin as the beast roared in pain.
Jack then sprayed bullets into the Hydralisks' face, causing it to stumble backwards in disarray. Jack shot it once more in the chest, and then turned and ran after the others. The Hydralisk regained its footing and then continued the hunt. It opened its mouth and growled loudly. The second Hydralisk stepped out from behind the corner and hissed back in response. Then both of them started charging down the corridor in search of their prey.
The humans turned a corner, and the Hydralisks barreled after them. The first one shot around the bend, and was consumed in fire. It shrieked as its flesh was set alight and its cells were pierced and consumed. It fell to the ground, and struggled around as it was burned to death. Ann released the trigger, and looked up at the second Hydralisk. The second Hydralisk looked down in shock at its fallen counterpart, and then looked up at Ann. She pulled the trigger on the flamethrower and a small flame shot out. The Hydralisk turned around and hobbled quickly away.
"Come on Ann," Jack beckoned.
She turned and followed him and the others.
"Guys," Bob suddenly said. "Get over here."
Jack and Ann ran down the hallway until they found Josh and Bob at a computer terminal.
"Look," Bob said, pointing at the screen.
Ann and Jack looked. The screen showed several more Zerg creatures. But they were larger, mightier, and stronger than the ones they had already met.
"This is the maximum security containment area," Bob said. "All the strongest Zerg specimens are contained there. They haven't been released yet."
He then looked up at the two of them with fear in his eyes.
"Do you know what could happen if they are released?"
Jack walked up to the screen and looked at the many different creatures. He saw many that he had studied. Guardians, Ultralisks, and some mutated form of Hydralisk. Hunter Killers, that's what they were called. There was an entire army in there.
"If they get loose they will overrun the station," Jack said. "We need to contain them just long enough to escape."
"But what about the strange stuff we keep reading on the computers?" she asked. "And how is it possible for these Zerg to still be alive? Don't they need a Cerebrate?"
"I don't know," Jack said. "It doesn't make any sense."
Josh just shivered as they stood in the darkness thinking.