The sunlight, a reddish glow, letting them know it was sunset. The heat was not as hot as it was during the daytime; the AC in Phantom’s armor had shut off, as the cool breeze from the planet’s weather was bearable to stand. He looked down at the buildings as they went by on the Phoenix 4 as it flew above the Westar mega city. Phantom was fascinated by how some of the skyscrapers were made in different shapes to find ways, he guessed to draw more attention for tourism. One looked like a round circle plate in the air that was held up by a stick like structure just underneath, kind of like someone balancing a spinning plate with a stick; Another was a square black faded shape apartment, range to 506 floors high, its windows were clouded from the brown sand that covered over, making it impossible to see inside; another looked like a sharp pointed spear that was higher than any of the three he had just seen before the plane went passed. A hand came upon his shoulder; he turned to look into the eyes of a woman’s face. Phantom saw the curved smooth beauty that looked right back at him.
“What? You like what you see Phantom?” Jade said to him with a smile. Phantom turned his head away, then setting it to look below at the rooftops. Jade had taken off her helmet for her brown hair had been getting in her face inside the helmet. She did not like taking her helmet off much during missions. But now… it was an exception. Putting a hand around her hair, she held it up behind her head. She then curled it up into a bun and quickly as it unraveled, she pushed her helmet back on over her head.
“This is Maxwell 5, coming in on your 6. Phoenix 4, this is Whiskey 10 and 11, coming in on your 12 above.” Phantom and Jade heard over their head sets. Then Phantom heard something ripping through air. He turned his head from the rooftops and looks towards the back of the small plane, as another one that looked just like it came from behind.
“Copy that Maxwell 5, Phoenix 4 is being accompanied by Commander Jasper. Our mission is to search and find the crashed cruiser.” Then commander Jasper, who had been sitting in the right corner of the Phoenix 4 rises from his seat and spoke into the COM link.
“People, we have here today with us a surviving crew member who was said to have come from the ship we‘re looking for, like Capt. Jade said, a destroyed cruiser. When we find it, we’re going to search for any communicational terminals, so we can contact anyone on the outer planets for help. Cause if there are more people out there with cruisers, then there is hope for us yet.” Jasper finished saying into the COM link. Soon they passed up the city and where now going over the sands of the desert. Phantom looked down at the sand domes. He saw a colorful site that it gave off as the sunset hit the side of their domes giving it a syrupy color of bread.
After almost an hour, while the hover planes (Standard transportation gunship; best aircraft for ground support when it comes to huge engagements with enemy targets. Invented in 2305, the hover plane is the main backbone of every security/military/ protection escort of aircraft vehicles in use almost everywhere!) Had decided to split up into two groups and look around the desert, Maxwell 5 finally reports in, finding some kind of grayish color stripe that was out of place on the desert ground. When Phoenix 4 had gotten there, Phantom looked down and saw the ship he had woken up in was almost fully covered by the sand that had been pushed over the crash site by the desert winds.
“Commander Jasper, this is Whiskey 10, permission to move in sir?”
“Permission granted.” Jasper said over the COM link. Phantom watched as he saw one of the hover planes touches down close by the small open bridge view window, where Phantom had pushed put from not long ago. A five-man squad stepped out and looked straight at the opening with their weapons raised to it; they walk in and entered the bridge room of the ship. Phantom had remembered when the cruiser used to be very visible, but what had pulled it into the sand dune it now rested inside in, he hoped to not found out. Unfortunately to his dismay, the sands around the crashed cruiser shook as something slithered from underneath. Then emerged with a horrific sound of sand falling like huge gushing waterfalls back down to the dunes as a huge snake like worm, rose from the depths of the planet’s terrain.
“Get the hell out of there now Whiskey 10, everyone inside the cruiser, hold you’re positions!” Jasper yelled over the COM to the hover plane, as the rest of the squad got inside the cruiser. It lifted in time as the huge snake released tentacles from the sides of its body that were the size of buses and looked to stretch on endlessly from its body. As Whiskey 10 ascended to the elevation of where the groups of hover planes were, Jasper held onto the hand rail above his head and he stared out at the huge sand snake, which opened its mouth, roaring with anger at them as one of its meals had gotten away. Phantom held onto the seat close to the opening of the plane, his heart race has he looked with horror at this new monster before them. Phantom heard on of the pilots speak over the COM to Jasper with a fast scared voice.
“It’s the mommy, and boy is she pissed!” Phantom looked down in time to see one tentacle leap up from the sand and fly straight at them in the air.
“Look out!” Phantom yelled to Slade over the COM.
“Holy…” Phantom heard Slade yell with surprise as the tentacle smashed into the side of the Phoenix 4 as Slade had just barely dodge its attack. Phantom was flung out of his chair and straight out of the passenger hold. Phantom grabbed the railing that Jasper was still holding onto as the Slade was trying to stop them from spinning out of control. Phantom looked inside the passenger hold and saw Jade holding onto the side of a seat along with some other HUM soldiers. One of the soldiers inside lost their gripping and flew straight out of the hold screaming as he flew hundreds of feet down to the sand dunes below. Phantom looked back to Jasper who holding onto dear life right beside him. Phantom watched as one of his hand let out the railing, just as the other loses its grip, Phantom grabs hold of him just in time. Jasper looks at him with a relieved face. Phantom gave a grin, which Jasper could not see as Phantom’s helmet covered his face.
The other hover planes were already engaging the beast, firing rockets and shooting the Gatling guns at it, the sand snake roars with pain and anger, barely phasing it with the gunfire. The tentacles flew everywhere, trying to knock the planes out of the air like annoying horse flies being swatted by the main hairs on the tail of a horse. Slade evens them out in the air as the other hover planes were providing a good distraction. Phantom puts his feet onto edge of the Phoenix 4 and pulls Jasper inside. Just as Jasper was about to thank him, the plane shakes once again.
“Something got us by the tail!” Slade yelled into the COM. Phantom turns around and poked his head out to look towards the tail. He sees a tentacle holding onto to them, it then detaches from the monsters body, but as a smaller version. Phantom looks closely at it, he sees two small black doll eyes open from top of its body and then watches at its mouth open up on all sides as this tentacle becomes a baby sand snake on the Phoenix 4 back tail.
“What’s the matter…?” Jade said to Phantom as she then came up beside him and saw the tentacle becoming a baby sand snake.
“So that’s how it reproduces…” Jade said with surprise. The sand snake then closes its mouth and disappears as it slithers behind the other side of the tail of the plane.
“Jasper we got a problem!” Jade yelled to him. Jasper turned his head to look back them as he was commanding Slade to try and find a weak point on the giant snake.
“I don’t think now’s a good time Jade…” He barked.
“The tentacle turned into a smaller sand snake!” Jade replied back. Jasper turned and asked.
“What?” with a curious voice. Just then, the back tail of the snake reached in and pulled out a soldier from where he was manning the Gatling gun on the right side. Phantom turned in time with the GM23 handgun he was given, raised and fires 4 rounds at the tail. It disappears somewhere above the body of the plane, Jade walks over to the other side.
“Jade ...” Phantom implied, but Jade did not listen as she pointed her laser typewriter up towards the top area of the hover plane. She saw nothing there, lowering her weapon; Jade looked back at Phantom and shook her head. Phantom heard something slither above him; the snake caught him off guard as he felt it twist its tail around his waist. Phantom held onto the railing once more as it was trying to force him out of the Phoenix 4. Phantom gazed up to see the creature looking down at him, its mouth open wide at all four sides. It had no teeth, but he did not want to find out, how it ate its victims. Phantom raised his handgun he had in his right hand and aimed up at the snake and fired a round straight into its mouth. The head of the snake went back as it felt the bullet go right into its flesh. Phantom watched as it lowered its head and looked back at him, it hissed at him, its blubbery body jiggling as it did.
“Shoot it in the eyes!” Jade yelled to him. Without hesitation, Phantom aimed his gun and this time he fired a round towards one of its eyes. He was lucky that the round landed in its target area, for the snake let go of him as the pain was too much for it to handle. Its tail let go of his waist as it then fell over the side of the hover plane and landed with a huge dust cloud that followed the sand dune below. Phantom lost his handgun as his lower body had fell from behind up-side-down to right side up. Phantom put feet back onto the floor of the hover plane. As Phantom is relieved that the danger was over, he had almost forgot that they were still fighting a much larger version of the creature.
The y had done a great deal to the huge mother sand snake, as oozing green blood was visible from parts of its body. Just as they were about to kill it, the mother lunges downwards at the dunes, creating a giant sand cloud that rose up while she dug her way to safe beneath the dunes. The Phoenix4 and the rest of the hover plane group cleared the area as the cloud blocked their line of site. After 5 minutes, the cloud started to settle back down into the dunes as the sand fell back to the planet. When it was over, they could barely make out the opening to where Whiskey group had entered. Jasper got on the line and tried to reach them.
“Whiskey Company, are you are right? Come in Whiskey…” Jasper waited for their response, to his relief, there was a reply.
“Yes sir, we are alright… Thank god you got rid of that monster or we’d be goners down here, over.”
“The danger has been lifted; please continue with your regular objective…” Jasper told them.
“Copy that sir, Whiskey 10 out!”
“Switching to the HUDs, let’s see what they see.” Slade said in his pilot seat as he flipped a switch on the controls. Phantom turned with curiosity with this and watched as a panel opened and switched from a metal plate, to a medium screen. They watched one of five screens on the terminal as each one of the squad members advanced deep into the ship. There were still loose electric circuit wires wiggling everywhere, where they once stayed in place when the ship still functioned properly. They moved into another room and found a maintenance station, one of the squad members got close enough and Jade, Phantom, Jasper, and even Slade saw that the last maintenance check for anything wrong with the ship was almost 5 years ago.
They moved on, through room and hallways. As they proceeded, they would all say things like.
“Checking for enemies… Stand by.”
“Clear.” In whispering voices, Phantom was kind of getting bored from listening to this. Jasper gave an order to everyone. Phantom wasn’t even listening when he said it.
“Everyone set down on the ground! Get a working defense perimeter for our team, in there.” Soon the remaining airborne planes landed and Phantom was pushed out into the desert again. Now he stood right by Jade and Jasper as they all watched what was happening inside the ship. The squad had just prided open a jammed slide door and were now somewhere between the engine room and the mess hall, when they turned a corner and saw a little bright light coming from the right of a corner up ahead of them. They slowly came to the side of the intersection. Phantom was looking through the soldier at the very back of the squad’s HUD. The leader of the squad had his head close to the ending of the hull’s wall, the armored suited soldier turned his head back and nodded to his closest teammate, the one behind them nodded back to him and then in a snap, the soldier jumped in the center of the hallway and signaled for the others to move in.
They went into the room with their Laser typewriters (The advance version of the laser rifle which was created in 2200, created in 2300 the typewriter is a machine-gun laser weapon. That fires a combined force of three laser lines at a target at the speed of light. It holds a capacity of 35-microwave ammunition and his considered to be the greatest achieved weapon of the laser weaponry family since its birth of creation.) Raised straight front of their bodies with the safety’s off. The room they saw in front of them was still a blaze in fire.
“Extinguish the fire!” The squad leader said to the closes one to him. The soldier reached into his chest pocket and took out a grenade. He took off the clip and threw it into the fire, it then exploded and the fire was smothered with white foam.
“One important thing a soldier should never forget today is to always carry blazer grenades, just in case when faced with flames, those babies always get the job done in an instant.” Jade said with a joist tone as the squad then moved into the room. There were many computer terminals, either destroyed or damaged. But there was one in the back of the room that was still in tacked and didn’t even look touched in a while.
“Sir, we’ve found a computer terminal. It does not look to be the communicational terminal we are looking for.” The male squad leader said into his COM link. He put a hand on the terminal’s screen and it turned on. He pulled his hand away in an instant, and then a recording started to play.
“Star date: 12 hours since take off. Date, March 15th, 2590 A.D. Note #5, this is Dr. Leroy, Logan I’ve come to the conclusion that…….. Well, we won’t be able to turn mutagen X into a master control infection like you wanted. I’m sorry Logan, but we just can’t control it! It’s impossible, if our scientists here in A.V.E.’s southern sector weren’t able too. Then how can we come to comprehend the fact that, we just can’t do it. We would need more equipment and man power, the numbers we have now will not help the continuation of our research Logan………
(There is a long pause during the recording. As he looks away from the screen, then back at it.)
Listen, by the time you’re seeing this, you will probably have already blown a nerve in your head. But know this; I’m probably not even on the ship. So don’t even try to find me, for I have already planned my escape as you walk towards your quarters and think that I’m lying to you and that everything will be okay. But it’s not, for if A.V.E. ever does find us, we will be killed in an instant. Cause like me, we have endangered our lives by leaving the company and taken with us their very effects on what has happened to this star system. So since this will be my last transmission, I will bit you a good far-well”.
Then the terminal’s recording ended and the screen stayed blank with black.
“Um… Sir what would you think of that”? The squad leader said through the COM link. But Jasper did not answer back. He only looked straight into the HUD, at the terminal. Then he turned his head towards Phantom. Phantom looked at him back, through his helmet plate. He seemed to now, instead of at ease, Jasper seemed to almost be looking into Phantom’s eyes. Uneasy feeling comes over Phantom.
“Sir, Are you still there?” Jasper then snapped out of the Trans he was in and looked back to the HUD.
“Yes, I can’t really take up an answer for that question Capt. Stroke. Loot for anything else you can find and met us back outside here.”
“Yes sir, Stroke out.” Then as they finished talking, there was a noise of something hitting and breaking on the floor of the hull behind them. They raised their weapons and looked around.
“What was that?!” Stroke says through the COM.
“I don’t know sir.” One of the soldiers said close beside him.
“Johnson, Martinez! Investigate the disturbances.” Stroke commanded the two soldiers close to the door leading to the room where the noise was heard.
“Copy sir...” He twitched his head to the one beside him and they went into the room with their guns pointed. For 4 minutes, the 3 soldiers stood guard in the room with recording terminal, while the other 2 soldiers were in another room, searching for whom or what caused the noise. Inpatient, Stroke then said into his head set.
“Jade, what is the position of my soldiers?” he asked angrily.
Jade looked into the other two HUD’s and watched them walked cautiously through the room with big rows and rows of test tubes, there inside most of their circular structures, were pre-infant babies. As Johnson walked down one of the rows, she saw some of them…. were broken. Her eyes saw that they still dripped of green fluid. Jade then knew….. Something was wrong. Then in an instant, Jade saw that Johnson’s HUD suddenly shut itself off. She tried to get the screen to work, but it was functioning properly.
“Martinez! Johnson’s HUD just shut off.” Martinez then said back to Jade.
“So what do you want me to do about it…..Maim?” He said sarcastically to her.
“Hun, you there..." Jade said into the link, Phantom clearly knew instantly that she and he were together.
“Now’s not the time for sarcastic remarks. You’re in danger; you’re not alone in there!” Jade said with anger.
“Well, I bet he’s just-” Then Martinez becomes quiet. Jade looks into his HUD and saw Johnson’s lower body on the floor; she couldn’t see the rest of his upper body for it was in the intersection walkway going through the row Martinez was in with the row on the other side. Martinez raised his laser typewriter and slowly approached Johnson, as he got close. Martinez could hear something eating. Martinez took a deep breath and turned the corner, Jade saw in horror a normal child sized naked pre-humanoid eating away with its back turned to Martinez.
Jade saw that Johnson’s torso had been ripped open and his lungs and large intestine were lying about on the floor. Martinez was horrified to the bone as he watched his teammate get eaten by this thing he saw a top of him. It then picked up its head up from Johnson’s heart and slowly cocked its head to the side. Martinez’s eyes widened as he saw that it wasn’t even a human anymore. For its mouth had extended and it’s lips were no longer visible, instead it was replaced by small razor-sharp teeth that looked to at least stretched 5 inches away from the gums, giving it a look as if it had an overbite. Martinez looked to its hands and saw that the finger nails were long and very sharp-like. It then turned its body to face Martinez, as it stood up on Johnson’s torso, Jade saw with no disgust that it had no reproductive organ between its legs.
“Holy shit...” Martinez said as the thing tilted its head to the right. It then made some kind of noise before it charged at him. Martinez opened fire at the creature, but instead of running at him, it jumped on the wall and test tubes around it. Jade watched as Martinez was in shock and scared to death as he tried to shoot the creature, it then leaped on to him and he fell back, shooting the ceiling as he did. Jade watched as Martinez then shrugged with it, before one of the creature’s hands smacked the HUD on Martinez’s left shoulder, it then shuts off.
“Jade! WHAT THE HELL’S GOING ON!” Stroke asked over the COM.
“It’s Martinez!” Jade said with a scared. Stroke then gave the signal to follow him as he the others ran into the room and followed the gunfire. Soon it stopped and all they heard as they finally found him was ripping and screaming of agony. Stroke Stared in horror as he saw what it had done to. Martinez. He was still alive in pain, it had his right eye in his hand and held it up in the air like spaghetti, it then let go of it and it fell into its mouth. The creature cut open throat and took out his abdomen and ate it. Martinez then tried to make another scream as it then cut off his face with its finger nails; it then started to play with as if it was a toy. It then let go of the face as it turned its attention towards them. They saw its cheeks going, up as it tried to give a child’s smile.
“OPEN FIRE!!!!!” Stroke said as he then fired his typewriter, when they finally emptied their round cylinder battery cartridges. There was nothing left of the creature, only the body that should little remains of what it was before. It had been roasted over with some many red heated beams that it lay with smoke still exerting from the remains they reloaded and looked around. They search for anymore that could be around in the room. But to their dismay, they did not find anymore. He then walked up to Martinez, who was still alive and bleeding from his neck to death on the floor of the room, his long tongue from inside his neck had been pulled out and lay on his chest. He twitched as he looked up at Stroke. Stroke took out his handgun and raised it to Martinez’s head.
“It was an honor, serving with you Martinez.” Stroke said to him as he looked down at him on the floor. Martinez gave a smile as Stroke and the other saw his blood start dripping from his torn throat. Stroke pulled the trigger and the handgun went off. The bullet hit him right between the eyes, killing him instantly. Stroke then put his head down, but as he looked down. He saw the head of the child-like creature on the floor staring up at him. Stroke then felt a surge of anger as he then kicked the head, it sails into the air, bouncing of the wall across from them and lands somewhere away from him. Still angered he turned and yelled up at the ceiling.
“Where’s the rest of them! I WANT MORE! GIVE… ME…. MORE!” Stroke said angrily with a harsh tone... The other soldiers stayed quiet as he then threw his gun at a test tube. It broke open and the infant came out. He looked down at it and in anger; he stomped down on it and squashed its body into mush. He then fell to his knees and screamed with sadness and anger. He banged his hands into the floor. Through the whole tan tram, Jade took off her helmet and Phantom saw that she had tears running down her cheeks. She just lost her boyfriend and a brother to the hands of the creatures that now roamed the planets city. Phantom, who had been quiet through the whole ordeal felt their pain, he felt so sad. Especially for Jade, who was taking it hard? Jasper came to her side and said with a motivated tone.
“It’s okay Jade. He died for us…. He died for you.” She then looked to him with her red crying eyes.
“He was my boyfriend!”
“But he made sure something like that wouldn’t come for you in the future.” Jasper then hugged her and looked at the HUD’s on the wall. He then looked to Phantom with angered. Phantom looked back at him, underneath the helmet; he was surprised to what he saw from the man. He did not even know why he was giving him this look. Jasper then, while still hugging Jade turned on his ear piece and said with an already saddening voice.
“Everyone, start up the birds. We’re leaving. Stroke when you’re done, grab everything in that room, and take Martinez and Johnson back with you when you’re done. Whiskey 11 and Maxwell 5, stay to make sure nothing else goes unnoticed.” Jasper said to them as he then felt his own tears come upon his cheeks. As Phantom turned to go to the ship, something leaped on to his back and he fell down with it. It tried to rip open his back, he pushed it off and got up just in time to turn and see just before he and it where back down on the sandy ground of the desert, that it was another child- creature that had some how gotten passed Whiskey 10 inside the ship and had gotten into their perimeter. Jade and Jasper saw and ran with their GM23s raised and fired at the thing, the bullets had little effect on it as Phantom struggled with it on the ground. He gets it into a head lock; Phantom tries to gets up and with one free hand. But then it pushes with enormous strength towards his head, dazed he takes one more step, before Phantom trips over his own right foot and slammed his head hard into the side of the Phoenix 4 doorframe, knocking him out cold.