Chapter One

Bane Pulled his axe out of the hard, brown, martian rock. The Intercom piped up.

"Second workshift has ended. Miner shift 1 return to barraks" It grated in that cold, calm voice

Bane sighed and dropped his pick. He walked down the roughly hewn corridoor and into the large room beyond. He noticed four guards were standing with their backs to him. Around him, other miners were emerging from the other tunnels, and also looking at the guards. Bane strode forward to see what all the fuss was about. He was Horrified to see that it was a miner.

The plague had been happening for months, Most of Bane's friends were dead from it, or from the guards abuse. They seemed to take delight at watching the Miners hack at stone all day and beating any that happened to stop for a break. The poor conditions were bringing unrest. Some miners had actually attacked guards. But all were caught and were taken to solitary confinement. No-one ever saw them again. There were even rumours of a rebel group called the Red Faction who were stockpiling weapons for the rumoured reveloution.

The miner was infected with the plague, that much was obvious. Bane knew that face. It was Mon, his friend fom earth. Together, they had set off to build themselves a new life in the Mars mining colony. He stepped forward to help his sick friend, but a guard stood in his way. It was a seargant.

"Stand back mine scum" He said, smirking "wouldn't want you getting infected!"

His buddies laughed.

"But he's sick! he needs medical attention!" Bane exclaimed. The guard did not move except to transfer his hand to the pistol strapped to his leg.

"Oh, and what are you gonna do about it?" He growled. Bane could only watch helplessly as the twitching form of Mon was carried away by one of the guards.

At that moment, the intercom crackled into life. All three guards and the eight miners were distracted from the cruelty from what blasted from the speakers.

"Miners! This is Eos! Leader of the Red Faction!" Snapped the female voice on the other end. "The Revoloution is here! Strike back at the guards that have brought you so much pain! Remember every dead miner, every friend and fight for them! Miners in M4 have started the rebellion, but won't be able to keep it going without you! Find the Red Faction members among you and link up with us! We will make them suffer as they make us suffer-" The voice was cut off by the computerised overseer voice:

"All Miners are ordered to ignore the unortherised announcements." It said feebly

All through the message, the guards had been staring up at the intercom, like it would change What they were hearing. When they looked down again, they saw the miners glaring at them, with something like animal fury. Everything happend at once. The Miners charged forward, the guards drew their Control Batons and all hell broke loose. Bane was afraid and angry at the same time. He Rugby tackled a guard, who hit his head on a rock and died, and took the man's control baton. He turned and saw one guard Smack a miner in the head with a baton, then kick him over. The guard turned and, charging his weapon, shocked another miner to death. With an angry cry, Bane Ran at the guard and killed him with a shock from the baton. He checked on how the battle was going.

All the Guards were down.

Apart from him, there were five miners left. Three had Control Batons, one had a pick axe and one had taken the seargant's handgun.

"Yo, my name's Lambert Stick with me!" Said the Miner with the pistol "I'm headin for the Docking bay, if we can reach it, I'm gonna steal a shuttle and head back to Earth"

They all agreed, and headed for the door. Suddenly, the intercom barked out.

"Warning, disturbance in mine M3 sector 3. Code Blue Alert. Any nearby guards proceed to sector three immediatly!" With that, an alarm started whining.

Almost immediately, the door slid open and three guards walked in. Lambert snapped off a shot, sending a guard tumbling backwards. One of the other ones tugged a pistol out and shot Lambert through the heart.

"Lambert, NO!" Shouted the miner with the Pick Axe. He ran to his fallen friend and was shot too. The guard with the pistol heard a high pitched whining noise and turned to see his comrade lying on the ground, dead, and Bane running at him, brandishing a charged up Control Baton. The baton struck the guard round the head, connecting with a nerve cluster. Bane looked down at him. He was either unconceous, or dead. He was surprised to find that he didn't care which. He had never killed a man before, but three years of cruelty made them seem more like monsters. He went back to the other three miners, pausing to pick up the fallen pistol and a couple of clips for it.

The three miners that were left were an odd bunch, but after they introduced themselves, Bane found himself more comfortable with their presence. Biggs was a lankey man of about 25. Jessie was a tired looking young woman of 20 and Wedge was a podgey man of the same age. Biggs raided the guards' pockets and also found a Pistol. and Jessie still had 3 remote mining charges left. Wedge helped Biggs check the guards and found A couple of field Medi-kits. They opened the door and saw a miner standing at the other end of the passage. At the sound of the door opening, the spun round, raising his pistol. When he saw it was more miners, he lowered his weapon and sighed with relief.

"Hi there! A group of miners is heading up to the Docking bay, to steal a shuttle." He said " I was left here to check for survivors of the battle, then follow on after the others."

"Where are they now?" Asked Wedge

"Up at the entrance to the Guard checkpoint, Come on, follow me!" He replied. The miner set off at a run towards the door that he'd been watching. They followed him and on the other side of the door, they came to a lift.

As they travelled upwards, they came under fire from two guards, higher up at one of the doorways. Jessie threw a remote charge up. It stuck to one of the guards. She detonated it, illuminating the shaft with a shower of flame and rubble. When the lift stopped at the door, a moment later, they saw that the actual door, along with a generous section of the wall, was gone. They entered cautiously, Weapons raised. It was another coridoor. There was another door at the other end. There were several figures crouched in front of it. Biggs was jumpy and looked like he would fire, but then he saw that they were dressed in red, miners envirosuits and he calmed down. There were Five of them, all with their guns out. As our hero's approached, they spun around, racking their pistols. One of them, apparantly the leader, seemed to recognise the miner that had guided them here.

"Oh hi Jeff, found some survivors, I see." Said the leader.

"Yeah, How is the checkpoint?" Asked the miner. The leader grimaced.

"They sealed this door. We can't get it open." He admitted.

Jessie Grinned and stepped forward, holding a mining charge.

"I can open it" She said. Everyone stood back as Jessie planted the charge. Then she pressed the remote control and the door exploded. Immediately, an allarm started whining.

"Warning, Miners entering Checkpoint area, All local guards proceed to this area! Code Orange emergency!" Squarked the Intercom.

Shots came through, before the smoke had even cleared. One of the miners colapsed as he was hit multiple times. Another was thrown backwards as a powerful weapon fired. Jessie and Wedge scooped up the dropped handguns and joined the fight. Bane ran to the door, fired twice, then sprinted into the room. The other miners followed.

Inside, he found himself in a large Cavern. It was split in the middle by a concrete wall. This Wall had a large Energy-gate set into it. This gate would stop miners, but could be deactivated from the control room next to it.

There were four hostiles in the room. Three had pistols and one was holding a shotgun. Bane fired and knocked one over. The Shotgun-wielding man fired back, killing two of the other miners with one shot. Biggs shot the man with the shotgun and one of the guards threw down his gun and legged it towards the energy-gate. The One remaining guard, who was wearing an officer's Cap, turned and shot the deserter in the back. He was instantly shot by Biggs, Bane, and the Leader of the squad of miners, all at the same time.

They had just stopped to catch their breath, when a shot rang out, striking the Miner called Jeff in the head. The Team whirled and saw a trio of guards marching through a small door set beside the one they had entered through. They fired again, hitting the last remaining member of the squad with a triple-shot. Bane fired until he was out of ammo for his pistol, then dived and scooped up the fallen Riot-Shotgun. He fired, killing two of the guards. The final one dropped his pistol and raised his hands.

"What should we do with him?" Asked Biggs.

"I say we kill him too!" Growled Jessie

"No, let's lock him in the office that they were hiding in." Said Bane. So they tied his hands together and shoved him into the office. They then shut the door, pressed lock on the control pannel and Smashed it so he couldn't get out. Then they Studied the Energy gate.

"I can open it" Said Jessie "Just give me a moment". She dissapeared into the Control room beside the Gate. A moment later, it vanished with a rush of air and a sizzling noise. They pressed on, stopping only to pilfer some ammo from the dead guards.

On the other side of the gate, There was a door. It led onto a narrow steel walkway above a small underground lake. Another, similar walkway crossed the chasam a few metres above their heads. Floating in the water below were two dead miners and a dead guard. Bane looked up from the lake to see that the others were already half way across the bridge.

"Hey, wait up guys!" He Shouted. Wedge turned and opened his mouth to shout something back, but before he could speak, a bullet pinged off the bridge in front of him. Another bullet ricocheted off one of the support cables nearby. The little group looked up and saw several guards gathered on the walkway above. They all started firing down at the four miners. There was nowhere to take cover, so they unhooked their guns and began to return fire. The guards were all firing now, but they weren't hitting anyone. To Bane, it seemed that they were missing on purpose...

Then a bullet hammered into the support cable to Bane's Right. Another hit the cabe to his left. About a Metre of Bridge colapsed. Bane went tumbling into the water and the others began to move towards the door behind them on their side of the bridge. A shot from Biggs sent one of the guards staggering backwards and knocking one of his comrades off the bridge. The two guards that were left, fired a last shot each, then retreated through a door at one end of their bridge.

Biggs leaned over and looked down at Bane.

"You okay?" He shouted down.

"Yeah, just a bit brused, I did a belly-flop" replied Bane.

"Well, we can't reach far enough to pull you up. Try and find another way up"

"Yeah, you guys keep going! Try and get to the Docking bay, I'll meet you later" Bane spluttered. Biggs nodded, then there was a clattering of feet as they crossed the bridge, then the pnumatic hiss of a door opening. Bane looked around himself, tredding water. To his left, there was a large hole on the wall, just above water level. He retreved his shotgun and hung it over his shoulder. Then he swam over to the hole and hauled himself up and in.

To his surprise, it was well lit and led off, sloaping up slightly. There had been fighting here, recently too. Bane found a small stain of blood on a wall. It was still wet. A metre away, Bane saw the body of a miner sprawled on the floor. He took the ammo from the miner's Pistol and continued up the tunnel. The signs of battle became more obvious. Two dead guards lay on the floor and the rocky wall was dotted with bullet-holes. Finally, he came to a door. There was the sound of gunfire on the other side. Bane drew his pistol and pressed the open button.

The door slid open to reveal a battle that was well underway. Two dead miners lay on the floor. He could see four miners firing at five guards. The Miners were fighting bravely but they were inexperianced at combat, and the guards were using the cover well, showing for just enough time to take a shot, Then ducking down again.

As he watched, another miner cried out and toppled backwards, two bullet-holes in his chest. Another miner hesitated, glancing down at his dead pal, then he was hit too.

Bane raised his Handgun, waited, then fired, sending a guard crumpling back. Another one stood to fire, and was also hit. The other three began to retreat to the ladder that they had been defending. One was shot as he broke cover. Another was hit when the remaining two reached the laddder. The last one was shot and fell off the ladder, from halfway up.

The remaining miners turned to him, hulstering their pistols.

"Thank you" Said the first "I'm Cecil, This is Barry. We were heading up to find the Hanger, so that we could escape Mars and go back to Earth."

"I'm Bane, I'm going there too." Replied Bane.

"Great, this ladder is a maintenance hatch. It leads into the lift shaft. The lift has been locked in place, at the top, so we were heading out to climb the shaft. " He said, enthusiastically.

"Yeah, stay with us, we got ambushed by those guards, and we could do with another person here." Interjected Barry.

"Sounds cool, count me in" Smiled Bane.

They pushed the hatch open and climbed out into the bottom of the lift shaft. They were cautious, expecting another ambush, but the area was clear of hostiles. As they approached the thick-runged emergency ladder that ran all the way up to the top of the shaft, The Intercom crackled into life.

"Rioting in Sectors 2, 4 and 8 is out of control. All personel evacuate the area. I repeat, All personel, retreat to the Miner's barracks' and await further orders there. The mines will be sealed in twenty minutes" It said, calmly.

"Damn! We've gotta get up to the Barraks' in Twenty minutes." Growled Barry. They all took hold of the ladder and began to climb. Cecil went first, then Bane, then Barry.

They got about half way up, 100 metres, when a shot split the silence. Every twenty metres, there was a ledge that ran around the perimiter of the shaft where workers could rest and get their breath back, before continuing the climb. On one such ledge, a guard knelt. He fired his pistol again, narrowly missing Bane, who swung aside to dodge the shot. Barry fired his pistol and hit the guard, who fell from the ledge and went tumbling down until he was out of sight. They continued up, until, suddenly, another shot rang out. Cecil screamed as the bullet hit him in the left hand. He let go of the ladder and fell. Luckily Barry caught him by his right wrist. Another shot pinged off the ladder above Bane, who snapped back to the situation in hand. He drew his pistol and looked up. He could see a burly Guard standing above on another ledge, his pistol gripped in both hands. Bane took aim, but a shot from another gun hit the guard instead. There was a faint PHUT-PHUT and the guard collapsed. Bane saw that there was a door on the ledge. A man wearing a Miner's Envirosuit stood in the doorway, a silenced pistol in each hand.

"Hello down there! I'm from the Red Faction! Need a hand?"

A few minutes later, they all stood in the room behind the doorway. It was a store-room with crates and boxes strewn around randomly. Stamped on each was the 'Ultor mining Courp' logo. There was a ladder at one end of the room and a door (the one they had entered through) at the other.

"We can't stay here for long, the clock is ticking" Said The Red-faction soldier. "This ladder comes up near the Miner's Barraks, just in front of the Guard station."

"Okay, let's move on" agreed Bane. He checked his watch. They had about five minutes left before lockdown.

"How are you feeling, Cecil?" Asked Bane.

"Ok...The pain is mostly gone, except when I flex it" Said Cecil, faintly.

"Ok, we're moving out!" Said Bane, Racking his shotgun.

Bane pushed the hatch open and looked around. There was nobody about. He climbed out and helped the others up. This coridoor deemed to have seen a lot of fighting. There were Bodies everywhere. Bane was saddened to see that most of them were miners. But they couldn't be helped now. The party quickly checked for ammunition and medikits, then continued to the Guard Station. They opened the door and entered into a large cavern. There was a small Concrete building at the back of the room and a door next to it. A man dressed in riot armour looked round as they entered. When he saw that they were miners, he bellowed:

"Mine Scum! I thought you were all dead by now". He drew a control baton and charged at them. He held a big Riot shield in his other hand. The pistol shots of the others just pinged off the shield and hemet. Bane took aim and fired his shotgun. The Shield shattered. He fired again and again until the Riot-guard collapsed in a bullet-riddled heap. They swiftly checked the building and found a weapons locker. They broke it open and collected the shotguns and ammo inside.

They then exited the building and approached the door.

The door led into an airlock. These were used so that miners and guards could enter and exit the mines without loosing air for the rest of the complex. They stood inside and waited for the air to filter into the sealed room.

Then a light flashed green on the console beside the other door and the door slid open. They exited through the open door, removing their breathing helmets and fixing them to their belts as they went. Behind them, there was a pnumatic hiss, and a set of blast-doors that were half a metre thick closed in front of the airlock. The Red faction member sighed with relief.

"We made it"

"Well, not yet, we still have to get to the Docking bay" Said Bane, grumpily.

"Well we have some time now though."

They decided to take a quick look round the Miners Barracks and check for ammo and survivors. However, before they did anything, they needed to get Cecil to a doctor.

The Miners Barracks was a rectangle shaped steel room. There were 2 doors on their left, 2 door on their right and one large door at the other end. Bane took Cecil left to the medical bay. The medic took him into the bay and put him onto a steel bed, on the bed next to him was another miner who looked close to death, and on the other occupied bed was an unconcious Ultor guard, with a bullet hole in his blue envirosuit. The Medic gave Cecil a shot of antidote, in case his wound was infected, then gave him a shot of morphine to put him to sleep. The wound was deep and the medic called for the Nurse to bring in some specialist equiptment. Suddenly, there was a commotion from outside.

Sticking his head out of the door, Bane saw two Guards running out of one of the doors on the right there was a burst of gunfire and they both fell. Out of the door came a familiar figure.

It was Biggs. He was holding a chunky 'Assault Rifle' with smoke drifting from the barrel. Behind him came Wedge and Jessie, both armed with pistols, and with several grenades and mining charges swinging from their belts. Bane ran to them.

"Hey! You made it!" Said Biggs. "We thought you got stuck back in the mines"

"Yeah, thought we were gonners!" Said Bane. "Oh yeah, I met some more miners and a member of the Red Faction! They're just checking the canteen for hostiles".

At that moment, Barry ran from the canteen, shouting.

"They got The Red faction guy! They're right behind-"

Suddenly, he staggered forward as he was hit by several bullets. He fell, revealing six guards entering the Room. Each guard was holding a pistol. Biggs opened up, spraying the troops with bullets. Three were sent tumbling backwards. The other three franticly reloaded their pistols, and then they were cut down by the next volley of assault rifle shots.

The Group headed back towards the Medical bay to check on how Cecil was doing, but before they entered, they heard the sound of shouting from the room next to it, marked 'Detention Cell'

"Mine Scum! You're gonna pay for what your people did to my mates!" There were several crunching noises and a few shots. Then silence. They approached the door, guns drawn.

Inside was a room. Two corners of it were closed off by chain-link fence. Emerging from one of them was a Riot Guard. In his right hand, he held a blood stained Control baton. In the other, he was holding a pistol. In the cell behind him were 3 dead miners. They were all covered in blood. The sight of it made Bane sick. He raised his shotgun and fired before the man had even got out of the cell. He staggered backward, and then raised his pistol. Biggs and Wedge Fired at exactly the same time. Wedge's shot hit the man in the head; Biggs' assault rifle riddled his chest with holes. He collapsed in a heap. After looting his ammo and control baton batteries, Bane checked out the other cell.

Inside was a Miner. His envirosuit was gone, and instead, he was wearing a simple red vest and shorts. He was black, with dreadlocks. He turned to look at Bane. When he spoke, he sounded Jamaican.

"Yo, my miner Blederen! Be me mate and get de key off de table and free me." He said.

"Well, what are you locked up here for? We don't want a psycho attacking us when we open the door." Muttered Bane.

"Ah! Well what appened was dat de guards caught me sellin 'Illegal Substences' to de other miners!" He replied.

"Fair enough, I'll let you out. Do you want to join us, we're gonna steal a Shuttle and escape Mars."

"Okay, I will join you. I wanna get some payback on dem guards who stole me stuff!"

Bane looked around and saw a small table beside the door. On it was a key card. Bane took the key card and slid it through the swipe-slot that was clamped to the door of the cell. The light on the slot turned green and the door swung open. The Man strutted out and went to a locker on the wall. He opened it and pulled out an envirosuit. The man put this on, then stomped over to Bane.

"Hey, tank you man! You have freed me from me cell. Me name's Rasputin!" He said.

"No problem, I'm Bane." Bane answered. Then he drew his pistol and held it out. "Here, you'll be needing this."

Back in the Main entrance for the barracks, the team checked their ammunition. they were all pretty low, so they switched to control batons and pistols. The only room that they hadn't been in was the canteen. so they crossed to the door and went in.

Inside, there was a lot of dull, metalic furnature. most of it had been overturned and among it lay several dead miners. The group spread out and checked the bodies. Some had shotguns with ammo, but most were just holding mining tools or control batons. At the other end of the room, there was a door, next to a serving hatch. Bane left the others to check the bodies and approached it. It was locked from the inside, but a few hits with the stock of his shotgun broke it open.

Inside, the room was quite dark. Bane was just ajusting to the darkness, when a bright light was shone in his face.

"Hands up, Ultor guard!" Said a jumpy female voice. There was the sound of an assault rifle having the safety switched off. He raised his hands.

"Hey, cool it, I'm another miner" Said Bane, calmly. The lights flickered on, to reveal a young female miner crouched behind a barracade of broken chairs and kitchen units. She was holding an assault rifle in her shaking hands.

"Oh, you are another miner" She said. "Well, what is it you need?"

"Well, my friends and I are kinda low on ammo." He muttered.

"Oh, really? I got plenty here." She moved aside to reveal two crates with the Ultor logo on. She pulled the lid off the nearest one and began chucking boxes of ammo to Bane.

"Wanna come with us? We're trying to get off Mars" Asked Bane.

"Well, I'm scared to come out...But I will help any passing Miners to reload here" Said the woman. "You should get moving, the last load of miners that came by will be almost at the Docking bay by now." Bane thanked her, then left the room, and began to hand out ammo to his friends.

They left the Canteen, then went to the medical bay, and found Cecil wide awake. He grabbed his shotgun and took a few shells for it from Bane. Then the six of them set off. They went through the large door at the other end of the room, and found themselves in a long coridoor, with a door at the end and another door to their right. Bane checked the room behind the door, but it was just an empty office. They went to the end of the corridoor and opened the door.

The door led out onto some sort of station. They had only been here once before; When they first came to Mars, they had been brought here by train. The group stood on the platform, waiting. Eventually, a train appeared. It wasn't really a train, just a locomotive with a passanger compartment. The train pulled up at the station and the door on the very front opened. A riot guard appeared in the doorway, another following close behind. The first guard seemed surprised, and the team took that moment to open fire. Rasputin and Wedge fired shot after shot from their pistols and Biggs fired a concertrated burst from his Assault rifle. The man swayed, then fell forwards, onto the platform. The second Riot Guard stepped forward, Shotgun raised. Jessie hurled a remote charge, which stuck to the trooper's arm. He stared at it for a second, then ran away screaming. Jessie counted to ten, then pressed the detonator. From somewhere close by, there came the dull crump of an explosion and the squealing stopped. Insied the driver's cab, the surprised looking technition raised his hands. They hauled him out of the cab, and onto the railway. Then Wedge and Jessie climbed into the Driver's seats and Biggs, Cecil, Rasputin and Bane got into the back. It looked just like a tube train back on earth: With seats opposite each other in the carrage. They all sat down. Rasputin Hulstered his pistol, Cecil and Bane hooked their shotguns in the umbrella rack and Biggs fell asleep, his Assault Rifle nestling in his lap. Wedge's voice came over the Train's speakers.

"Okay people, we're locked in. Jessie's just reprogramming the computer so that it'll take us to the Surface Station without stopping at every station."

The train jerked forward, then began to move more smoothely.

They began to nodd off and would've fallen asleep, if the computer hadn't began to squalk the alarm again.

Alert! Miners in tram area, heading towards surface station. Guards are to intercept and destroy. Repeat: This is a code Red Alert!" It barked.

"Hey, I tink I can hear someting comin dis way!" Rasputin said, suddenly. Bane got up and crossed to the window. Behind them was another tram. As it came towards them, a side door opened and a Riot Guard walked out onto a tiny Balcony. He reached back inside and pulled out a large green Tube. He slotted it into place on his shoulder. Then Bane realised what it was.

"Get down!" He yelled. They all dropped to the ground and a huge explosion rocked the Tram. The entire back wall was blown in and every window shattered. The rag-tag group were all being pulled towards the hole by the speed of the Tram. Through the new hole in the wall, Bane saw the guard sliding a fresh missile into his Fusion rocket launcher. As he raised it to his shoulder once more, Rasputin managed to find a handhold and tug his pistol out. He fired and the bullet (traveling at twice the speed because of the motion of the trams) smacked into the visor of the Riot helmet. The man toppled over the rail and was whipped away by the wind. Another Riot Guard ran out onto the balcony and opened fire with his shotgun. Cecil Cried out as he was hit and fell from the Train.

"Cecil! No! Damn you, you-" Shouted Bane. Suddenly, the rack with the shotguns on came away from the wall. He snatched up his own shotgun and fired. The windscreen of the enemy tram shattered and the two figures inside went flying backwards. The Enemy Tram began to loose speed and a screeching noise came fom the underside. Bane fired again and again. The front grille of the vehicle swisted off and went flying. He fired again, setting of the fuel canisters inside the slot. The Tram exploded in a huge ball of flame.

Their tram Began to slow down about ten minutes later. Wedge and Jessie said that they had reached the surface part of the complex. The side door of the Tram slid open and the group hopped out onto the platform.

They saw that this platform was much better looking than the one they had first seen. The floor was tiled and the Walls were covered in posters, advertsing Ultor Mining courp. On the platform were two Security Guards. They weren't Riot guards or Mine Guards, they were wearing smart blue uniforms and High, black boots. On their heads were peaked caps and they wore sunglasses. Each was holding a stubby Submachine gun. As the door opened, they cocked their weapons.

"Look out! More miners!" Yelled the first. Biggs nailed them with his Assault rifle before they could raise the allarm.

"Right, this is the surface base. We don't want anyone raising the allarm, or security will be all over us. According to the Tram's map, we need to actually go out onto the planet's surface and travel about a mile to get to the docking bay." Said Jessie. Bane led them to the double doors at the other end of the platform, Wedge and Rasputin paused to take the Submachine guns from the dead guards. They went through the doors, into a large corridoor, in it were three Executives, hurrying towards the lift. They hid in a doorway until the Execs had gone, then pressed on. In the next corridoor, there was a large Steel door, with one security guard on either side. The door was marked 'Experimenting room'. They rushed the Security guards and killed them with a few well-placed blows from gun-handles. They trudged across the purple carpet to look in through the window. Inside, was a scene that shocked Bane. There were men in white coats, wearing masks pushing around trollies. The trollies had miners on them. Except, they weren't miners. The creatures on the trollies were still wearing the miners suits, but without the helmets. Their exposed faces were purple, like when a miner caught the plauge, and stretched, like putty. There was one other thing. They were alive. Their chests rose and fell, erratically.

Beside the horrified Bane, one of the guards groaned and clutched his head. Bane grabbed him by the wrist and pushed the barrel of his shotgun against the man's head.

"What is wrong with those miners?" He snarled.

"They..Have the plague..." He groaned "I heard...something about the plague...being man-made, to...test on the most expen...dable miners..."

"Man made!" Muttered Bane.

"I..I was just a...rumour..."

Biggs grabbed his arm.

"We can report this to the Earth defence force when we get back. Right now, we need to keep moving. We'll be discovered if we stay here too long."

"Okay, let's keep moving" Said Bane. They left the guard with his headache and continued down the coridoor. They finally came to a Door saying 'Exit Airlock' on it. They put their helmets on and opened the door. Inside, there were three dead security guards and a miner, holding a Submachine gun. They entered an shut the door behind them. The air began to cycle in and the miner approached them.

"Are you guys the last of the miners coming?" His voice crackled on their helmet intercoms.

"Yeah, think so. We didn't see anyone else on our way up here" Replied Bane. There was a 'Ping!' noise and the light on the wall turned green. Bane quickly replaced his helmet. There was a hiss of hydrolics and the outer door slid open.

"Follow me, There's a transport waiting to take you to the Docking Bay." Crackled the man's voice. He set off at a jog, out of the airlock.

The Surface of Mars felt weird. There was a lot of gravity, so you felt as though you were carrying a heavy backpack all the time. Other than that, it was similar to any desert on Earth.

They were in a gully, about a hundred metres wide. They proceded on foot to a large rock formation.

Behind it were Three Jeeps. In each was a miner, sat behind the wheel. Apart from the driver's seat, there was a passanger's seat and a heavy-machine-gun turret on the back with a seat for the gunner. Wedge and Jessie got in one, Bane and Rasputin got in another and Biggs and the miner from the airlock clambered in the Third. Jessie, Bane and The Miner were sat in the gunners seats. Then, in a cloud of dust, they set off.

As they neared the Bulky Docking Bay, they saw a croud of Mine Guards, wearing envirosuits emerge from several caves in the cliffs. They swarmed down and open fire on the Jeeps. Bane gripped the handles on his Heavy-machine-gun and pressed the red buttons. There was a roaring noise and the whole jeep shook as a burst of explosive rounds were sent whizzing towards the enemies. They drove through the men, Firing as they went. Bane saw a guard about to throw a grenade. He Fired on full automatic, killing him and sending the grenade rolling across into another guard. A third guard brought a missile launcher to bear. The man jerked back, sending a missile streaking towards Bane's Jeep. It just missed, but the second missile hit the Jeep with Biggs in directly. The Jeep exploded in an orange fireball and a shower of metal. The remaining two jeeps ploughed through the last few enemy troops and Bane made sure his ran over the man with the missile launcher. They reached the Docking bay and skidded to a halt. Bane and his driver deployed covering fire while the other three and the driver from the other jeep sprinted to the door of the Building.

Bane's driver shuddered and stopped firing, slumping over the dashboard as he was hit by a spray of lead from a shotgun. Bane Fired a last burst from the turret, then leapt down and followed the others inside the Docking bay.

They waited anxiously inside the airlock for the air to filter, then ran through the door. They were inside a coridoor of som kind. Bane could hear Gunfire and screams from the door straight ahead. They pushed it open, revealing an iron walkway. The walkway looked down on a large hanger. There was one bulky Shuttle left in the hanger. The other ships had all been destroyed in the fight. There was an enourmous battle going on in the hanger. There were about Fifty Guards attacking around Thirty-five Miners. The miners had formed a ring around the Shuttle and were crouched behind crates and workbenches. Gunfire flickered back and forth between the two sides. Bane urged the others on, across the walkway to the ramp that lead down to the floor.. He was about to follow them when he noticed the corpse of a Guard, draped over the hand-rail. He ran forward and picked up the Sniper rifle that the guard had dropped, picked a spot and braced the weapon against his shoulder.

Through the scope, he saw a guard running forward, several explosives clutched in his arms. He fired and the man fell. Bane turned the rifle and saw a guard with a Fusion rocket launcher, taking aim at the Shuttle. If the shuttle was destroyed, there would be no escape from Mars, and they would all die! He took aim and shot the guard in the arm. The man howled and swung his arm, discharging the weapon in the other direction. The resulting explosion killed at least ten guards. He carried on. Hunting, aiming, firing. He saw an Officer trying to rally his Guards. Bane pulled the trigger and realised that he was out of ammo.

He Ducked down and found a fresh clip next to the dead guard. He reloaded and stood, but by then, it was all over. The miners had won, but at a cost. Counting Bane and his gang, there were Fifteen miners left. Dropping the sniper rifle, he hurried to the ramp and sprinted down it. The miners had got the back of the Shuttle open and they were walking up it, some were supporting injured friends. He met Rasputin, Jessie and Wedge at the bottom of the ramp. Together, they hurried up the ramp. It retracted, once they were up and the large doors at the back slid shut. Two miners ran through the door at the other end, into the Driver's compartment. The rest all slumped into the padded seats. The Shuttle was About the size of a single-decker bus. Wedge sat right at the front, Jessie was a few rows behind him. Rasputin was sat near Wedge and Bane sat right at the back.

The Shuttle began to shudder, and Bane watched through the roof window as the entire top of the Hanger Slid open. With one final Jerk, the Shuttle took off and soared up through the Hole. The driver's voice crackled through the intercom.

"Ladies and Gentlemen. We can't leave the atmosphere just yet, we have to keep our position and travel round for about 5 hours until we're in the right position to set a course for Earth. You should relax for now, there's nothing else we can do."

Relax, thought Bane, how nice.

Bane dropped off into a troubled sleep. He dreamed about his friends. All the Miners who had died to get him here. He was just glad that he was going home. He was never going back to that planet of Hell...