Location: Earth, Oslo, Norway, Industrial sector
Among the sprawling factories of the industrial areas located East of the Norwegian capital was a UAC facility. The massive structure had a cyber-industrial design, intended to demonstrate the corporation's technological dominance. The perimeter of the UAC-controlled sector was surrounded by newly erected fencing, gated entrances were guarded by armed corporate security guards. Within the building was the aerospace construction hangar, the towering walls were trimmed with metal walkways, a zero-gravity crane was perched on a set of rails bolted to the ceiling, attached were thick spooled coiled cables ending in gravitronic lifters. Heavy metal braces upon the floor supports the portal's unfinished state, hovering repair robots drift around the construction, moving parts, testing components and wiring electrical and optical networks. Cables leading back to the control room are plugged into the supercomputer where it conducts tests on the portal's various systems.
Worker's were busy remotely controlling heavy equipment or constructing from zero-g platform lifts. Operations Technician Johan Mollerud was sifting through one of the many wheeled tool cabinets when a holographic corporate attendant appears above a circular plate on the floor.
"Employee number C-980, please make your way to the Project Supervision office" it politely announces before fading away.
Johan puts his work aside and moves over to the elevator, it raises up to the top level and he walks across a metal walkway to the office door, sliding open as he approached. He steps into the spacious room, control consoles were along the walls beneath windows with a view of the Construction Bay below. Before him, a few men were behind a desk with a shining black surface, tucked in the corners were a pair of stylish modern sofas. Johan steps into the office and the door closes behind him as a locking bolt silently slides into place.
"Employee: C-980... Johan, is it?" asks the Project Director.
"Yes, Sir. I hope there isn't some problem, I understand the time restraints this project is demanding." Johan probes.
"We're actually quite pleased with your contributions, the systems are fully functioning and integration into the central network is nearing completion. Initial testing has been scheduled." the former Director explains.
Johan glances through the office window to the massive ring of the portal's gate, still puzzled by the excessive scale.
"Do you know what they plan to test it with? You could fit at least three stacked hover-cars through that ring with some room to spare" Johan inquires.
"Classified. I can't say." the former Director replies coldly.
Johan silently studies the Director's face.
"I realize that you frequently hear that word with this project, but the reason we called you up here is because we're looking for someone with your type of skills and expertise for a special assignment, and it comes with a more secure position and higher authorization. Are you interested?" the Director asks.
"Well, sure. If this project is wrapping up then that sounds great." Johan replies.
The UAC Director grins slightly.
"Very good. I can't wait to share the details with you. You will to serve as an adequate host" he says, his eyes flared with intensity as he stares at the Technician.
"A host...?" Johan silently considers what he was hearing, What are you talking about?" he asks, studying the Director's face as it broke out into a wicked smile.
"You're going to be just like us" the Director replies.
The three men stared intensely and Johan began to feel nauseous, stars began to appear around the edges of his vision. The former Director rises from his seat, his face filled with madness. Johan's sight went spinning before he collapses unconscious to the office floor. The former humans gather around his body and begin to chant morbidly.
On the surface of Deimos, the Marine treks through the thick lunar dust. Lights beaming from transmission antennas leads him to the crater surrounding the UAC structures. During the early stages of the colony's development, the lunar dust within the crater was terraformed into solid material better suited for supporting the corporate structures. A section of crater wall was cleared for the track of monorail to pass through and toward a distant mining site.
He steps out of the dust and onto the hard terraformed surface and passes the walls of the ancient crater. He strays into the lunar depression as a mysterious fog rolls through the area. He moves toward the closest structure, a large tan building with high sloped walls, topped with antennas and receiving dishes, exterior lights outside the colony streak through the hellish fog. As he approached the building, a creeping silence surrounded him. Through the dim light and fog, he may have hallucinated shadowy creatures crawling upon the walls, although he wasn't sure.
The Marine drew closer to the tall sealed doors leading inside the base. The entrance was flanked by lamps beaming white light onto the terraformed surface. Stepping closer, he suddenly hears an angered growling coming from all around him. A massive dark phantom appeared looming over the building from behind the walls of the impact crater beyond, staring with glowing red eyes, the terrifying vision quickly vanished.
A cold chill runs up his spine, anxious energy ran through his body, he again was questioning his sanity. He paces outside the entrance wishing the circumstances weren't so dreadful. He eventually finds some clarity and brushes the experience aside, he was determined to make his way through this facility.
"It is nice to see you" came a random voice, someone was talking through his armour's communication system.
The Marine looks around and notices a monitor on the door was now displaying a female's face, in the corner of the screen was a red caution symbol, small text below reads 'EMERGENCY CONDITIONS IN EFFECT'
"I have interfaced with your armour's systems. My name is Luna, I am the facility operator. My artificially intelligent systems came online due to an absence of qualified personnel"
"Uh. Hello, Luna" he replies.
"Ohhh! I like you!" Luna observes, her avatar takes on a happy expression.
"Okay... I need to get inside" he explains.
"Really? Wow, you're such an interesting user. I recognize your authorization, but do you know why there's a change logged in your ID?" Luna asks.
The Marine thinks for a moment.
"I don't know, but it shouldn't have happened" his memory of such things wasn't good.
"Your profile is practically empty. I'm not supposed to accept this kind of authorization, but you're such an interesting user. Do you think you can help me? You're not going to cause any harm to the facility, are you?" Luna asks.
"I need the facility intact, so I don't intend any harm. I'll do what I can for you" the Marine replies.
"Very good" Luna responds.
A muted clank came from beyond the barrier and the tall doors began to part. The humming noise of the door motors was soon accompanied by moist squelching. A blob of demonic growth shifts behind the opening passage. The Marine steps away, the branches of growth flops along the spanning cavity and bulges forth, splatting upon the dusty lunar ground, spraying a mist of surface secretion away from the impact.
The Marine held a stunned expression as expelled moisture dripped off his armour. Glancing past the mounding tentacles, he could see that the growth appeared to have forced open the interior door of the airlock chamber. He sharpens his nerves and steps into the facility, the demonic growth flanked the sides of the spacious corridor, gas pipes stretch along the walls and ceiling. Sounds from demonic grunts reached his ears, which was soon accompanied by the screaming and deranged babbling of possessed humans, echoing from the halls beyond.