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Stowaway Part 3
Posted By: Dispraiser<dispraiser@netzero.com>
Date: 2 June 2003, 7:56 PM

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       "The AE?" I continued.

       "Yeah, AE, the Adam and Eve, AE."

       "What the hell is that?"

       "You're all dead anyway, what's it matter?"

       "I'm standing here with a heart beating within me that begs to differ." I held the knife to the ONI man's chest, "We could make one less heart beat, though, couldn't we..."

       "What, you think that ONI would let you live? Kill me, kill it, you're all death-marked anyway. ONI will hunt you to the ends of Lunar 4 until you are dead. If you are lucky enough to kill the AE first, that is."

       "Wait, if we are dead anyway why don't you at least tell us what we are fighting?" I asked, hoping to at least gather closure on what would kill my crew.

       "Alright, fine, but you have to pay attention, this is complicated. You know how the Spartan 2s exist, right? Super soldiers trained on Reach.", I nodded "Well, as you hopefully don't know some Spartan 3s were in training on Lunar 4." He continued, "ONI was never fond of the Spartans, we hated them, and they were using Lunar 4 to get a majority in the house, and we couldn't let that happen. Before Lunar 4 we were letting them create the Spartans, on Lunar 4 we got even. We created two at first, really just Spartan 3s with slightly different cranial genetics, they could think on their own. They were named Adam and Eve, and they were the first. As we discovered, Humans are weak, we are full of flaws, so we began to remove them, first our AEs got minor things, they never grew an appendix, they were immune to some genetic deficiencies, but soon it became more complicated. We began to create things that were like nothing you have ever seen before, the particular one you are seeing normal infantry. It takes the mind capacity and opposable thumbs of humans along with the natural predatory abilities of the Velociraptor and makes itself much more powerful than any other creature, even an Elite. It has countless upgrades, shark teeth, three rows of them, improved smelling, hearing, night vision, poison like Jelly Fish, everything, and it seems as if we were doing everything we could to take control of Lunar 4. Then a blessing came for ONI, the Spartans of Lunar 4 began to go rampant. It was a sign of weakness, the Spartans hive minds leading them to rebel and kill their leaders. They were escaping into the woods and deserts, and soon we had an array of things that were gathering legendary names like Chupacabra. We couldn't have this as is, but it was also the proving ground for the AE. This one was on this ship heading to kill Cain, the "Vampire" of the sewers."

       "That sucks for us..." I replied.

       "Pft... I'm out of here," Justin threw me his rifle, "I'm taking one of the escape pods, I'll drift out here till I'm rescued, this is too deep for me. I can't deal with genetic monsters and evil conspiracies," Justin was already out the door, "Anyone who want to come with me, feel free."

       "I'm in." Fats said. I looked back to see him leaving and suddenly felt the rifle I was carrying get slapped out of my hands. I spun around to see the ONI man holding it and waving it around the room.

       "EVERYONE FUCKING DOWN!!! THIS IS MY SHIP NOW!!! All of you, stay! Fats, down!" The ONI man fired a few warning shots into the ceiling. I began to get on my knees and place my palms on the back of my head. Everyone else followed.

       "What're you going to do?" I asked.

       "I'm going to go get Justin and lock you all in here, stay in here!"

       "And if we move?"

       "You won't be able to, I'll lock the door, both sides! That way your damn friend can't come help you!" He stepped out of the door and locked it behind him. I watched as he silently recited the code to himself three times. If he didn't remember it there would be some trouble...

       As soon as he passed around the corner I stood up and whispered, "Guys, he left all the rifles here, Dobie, Tabs, get on the sides of the door with rifles and blast the hell out of that dirt bag once he gets back!" They grabbed the rifles and shuffled to the sides of the door. I watched in anticipation of his return, though I knew it would be a few minutes. Suddenly I heard the crack of gunfire and saw the ONI man run around the corner to run through the cafeteria. The AE pounced into view behind him and snarled knowing its quarry was cornered. He shot it six times with his rifle, until he ran out of ammo, to no avail. The bullet holes on it literally seemed to fade from sight. The ONI man turned to his last resort, us. He pressed a series of buttons on the lock only to hear it beep in reply that his access was denied. "2834?" another beep, "Damn... 2384!" another beep, "Damn..." the beast charged at him and smashed into the door, crushing his stomach. Blood spewed from his mouth and I noticed the door dent in a few inches. Was this beast so strong as that it would break down the door? I watched as it drew back its head and headbutted him. The ONI man's skull was shattered by the blow and the small window behind him spider-webbed. I looked around the room frantically for a route of escape finding only two, one of which I wouldn't be too happy with, the other which would be hard to get to. I looked out the back of the ship from the small porthole, the treacherous sea below us reminded me of my place, which was not out there... Outside the AE roared and the window was coated in blood. I heard the footsteps leaving the area and was awoken to a new hope.

       "Do you think it's leaving?" Tabs asked. Suddenly the door dented in another few inches, his question was answered. It was coming to get us and we could do almost nothing.

       "Hurry up! Get the damn boxes! Stack half against the door to slow it down, the rest form a tower to get to that vent up there! Dobie, suppressing fire though the window!" I shouted, the only way out of this room besides circling the exterior of the ship would be to climb through a little vent over 20 feet in the air. I grabbed a crate and slid it along the ground towards the door, pushing it up against it as the AE rammed the door again. Dobie fired a few shots through the window to hear one resulting shriek. Another crate quickly slid into place behind me as I walked forward to peer out the holes in the window. I saw the AE at the end of the cafeteria turn, and becoming a near blur for a second it rammed the door again. Dobie shot the beast again and I watched as a bullet pierced its neck. Suddenly the bullet dropped out of its body and some of the skin from its back stretched to seal the wound. It was invincible.

       I ran to the other side of the room and slid another crate to barricade the door. I noted that the tower was about halfway to our goal of 20 or so feet. I ran to the back of the room as Dobie fired another few rounds down the hallway and slid another crate near to the door but close enough that we could use it to get up the tower. The door budged again and Dobie threw his expended rifle to the side and pulled one from Fats' neck. He flipped the safety off and fired down the hallway. I slid another crate behind the door. We had managed to create a line of boxes that extended across the room and helped to barricade the door. I watched to see how it would affect the AE. The AE rammed the door and cause less damage than ever before. I looked to my left as I saw one of the crates begin to bend... "Alright, everyone to the tower, get a few more crates up there and we can get the hell out of here!" I shouted while I began to climb the tower to help to drag the final crates up. The door behind us suddenly exploded its hinges and slid inward even further. The wall in the back of the room also began to warp outward. I helped to lift another crate to the top of the tower and to create the stair like system to get to the top and quickly scrambled to the top. I grabbed my rifle and smashed the butt of it against the grate three times before it gave way. I looked into the narrow vent, which was pitch black. I grabbed a flare that Dobie handed to me and dropped it into the vent. It was suddenly illuminated red. I crawled into the vent as quickly as I could and soon realized that there was a ledge about three feet in. It lead ten feet down to a grate. It was a leap of faith. I dropped to the grate and hit it, feeling the floor waver.

      I looked down and I could see the AE below me. It looked up and glared at me before resuming smashing the door. I saw the gored body of the ONI man now. It was missing most of its major parts and retained only its rib cage. All other organs and limbs were shredded and lying in pieces around the hallway in random piles, wherever they landed when the AE ripped him apart no doubt. I crawled forward down the vent and tried to ignore the AE below me. Behind me I heard another drop as Tabs fell, followed by Dobie. Suddenly the AE smashed open the door and ran behind us. I heard Fats scrambling to get into the vent as the AE got into the room. I looked back and waited for the final person to drop down, Fats. He dropped down the ten foot drop and hit the grate with more force than anyone else, and dropped to the AE. He stood and tried to run for the cafeteria but was no match for its speed. The AE tackled him below me and began to kill him. The AE stomped on his back and held him down while its powerful jaws began to rip him apart. It aimed first to rip off his limbs, it seeing the gun that he had albeit that he was out of ammo. It then bit his neck and left him paralyzed on the ground, probably already dead. It continued to assure itself that he was dead by biting him and throwing pieces around the hallway. It probably went to such means to show itself that they were dead because Spartans could probably survive large amounts of damage. I watched as the AE looked up at the ceiling and listened to us, looking ahead to see that we were headed for the cafeteria. Suddenly it ran to the left and disappeared from my vision. I continued down the vent until it ended in the center of the cafeteria and waited near the end for the others. When Dobie caught up I continued forward and dropped into the cafeteria. I quickly surveyed the area for any threats and signaled for the others to come down. I muttered under my breath, "It's quiet. Too Quiet..."

      "Not any more buddy." Dobie replied. The AE stepped up to the door and stared in at me. It leapt at us and out stream of gunfire held it back while we ran. I turned and ran first, stepping into the main hallway. Dobie continued to fire at it until I could shoot some more and try to keep it away. Tabs followed me and shot at the AE whenever he could. The AE dodged most of our bullets, ducking behind tables and columns to dodge most, but a few shots hit him, and from what I could tell, though the AE could take a bullet to the chest it wouldn't like it any more than I would. I looked at the AE, which was now heading for the hallway to circle the cafeteria and attack us. Dobie ran back into the cafeteria so that we could make our way to the stair column, which was very near to where the others had died. We ran through the cafeteria watching for the AE in front of us when suddenly we noticed a hiss by the room, the AE. We all began to shoot at the AE, and we managed to force it back enough so that we could run past it to the spiral staircase that lead to the cargo hold of the ship. If we could only get to the front of the ship we could take one of the escape pods. Suddenly an escape pod blasted away from the front of the ship, I watched as Justin flew into the distance with one of our lifelines. Dobie took point and charged into the cargo hold with us following closely behind him. We ran to the right side of the ship upon reaching the bottom floor and clamored up the catwalk staircase to walk over the cargo hold. "How many bullets do you think we got in that thing?" Dobie asked.

      "My best bet is 10, maybe 15, sorry, but we aren't trained to be shooting, Dobie." I replied.

      "Well, as long as you do your best you might live. Listen, we need to get inside a cargo crate, we can climb in through one of the tops of one of the larger shipment crates and hide in one until we can find a way out of here. I think we hurt the AE though. It looked like it was bleeding."

      "We aren't safe until it's dead, chances are that we just pissed it off."

      "Good point, but we need to find shelter. That crate over there should do." Dobie gestured up the ship to a crate halfway up the cargo hold with an open top. Chances are it was a corporate megacrate, really just one crate with many little crates in it used to remover the clutter from shipping operations. We shuffled across the dimly lit catwalk to the crate and clamored into the center of it, dropping to the ground and resting. Inside Dobie pressed a button that sealed the top of the crate, though the top was off center because of some shifting in crate layout because of the waves. I leaned against the wall closest to the front of the ship and began to catch my breath. The others did the same thing in their own way. Suddenly we heard footsteps outside, stagger-footed as if wounded. They seemed lopsided but still very fast. Suddenly there was a sharp rap at the door to the crate. "Don't open it, it's the monster..."

      "Okay." I replied. The knocking soon stopped and the footsteps seemed to limp away. I was just about to relax when suddenly a figure dropped into the crate. I rose my rifle to shoot it when suddenly it raise its hands, its human hands. It was Crazy. Tabs leaned back against the door suddenly feeling very safe. Dobie began to look through some of the crates, apparently we were in a Softball shipping crate. Dobie's boredom led him to a baseball bat where he sat swinging. I set a hand on Crazy's shoulder so he would turn to read my lips, "Oh, thank god it was you man... Sorry about shooting at you and all... We were a little confused..."

      "No fucking kidding." He replied with slurred speech stereotypically assigned to deaf people.

      "Yeah, well, you almost gave us a heart attack when you knocked at the door a second ago." I replied.

      "I didn't knock at the door..." He replied. Suddenly the door burst downward crushing Tabs to death, and above the wreckage stood the AE, angered and covered in its own blood. I raised my rifle to fire as Dobie did to realize that we were both out of ammo, and seeing the only loaded rifle in the dead hands of Tabs. Crazy ran to the far left side of the crate and began shouting at the AE to try to lure it away from the gun as Dobie flipped over a few crates of baseballs and grabbed his bat. He ran at the AE, which was paying attention to Crazy, and hit it on the back of the head with the bat. The AE wavered and fell to the ground, though only temporarily. It stood back to its feet within a second and was swinging at Dobie, though the courageous man blocked all of its swings with his bat. He swung at its chest and hit it, I could hear bones shattering. It opened its mouth to show its three rows of teeth, and scared the hell out of me. I looked over at Dobie, who now held the stub of a broken bat and was facing off against one of the deadliest creatures known to man. He bravely stood his ground over the body of Tabs. The AE suddenly pounced on him and wrestled him to the ground. Dobie drew his sharp baseball bat shrapnel back and stabbed the beast in the side spurting poison and blood with the pressure. He screamed from the poison he touched while accidentally contacting the AE and was bit in the stomach. His last brave act was a simple kick and a smile as the gun of the now dead Tabs slid across the floor to Crazy. Looking for a way to distract the AE and save Dobie, though there was little hope, I grabbed a baseball and pitched it at the AE. It was hit and reacted with anger. I quickly grabbed another baseball and threw it at the AE again. Suddenly it wasn't very interested in Dobie and it charged at me. I pressed my back against the wall and realized I had nowhere to run. The AE pounced at me and placed each of its arms on one side of me. It cut my arm and I suddenly felt the burn of the poison on its skin. I watched in terror as it drew its head backwards and prepared to kill me. Suddenly its head exploded, three bullets passing through it. I slid down the wall as a 600 pound beast collapsed on my legs. I wiped the sweat from my brow and thanked Crazy when suddenly we heard helicopters overhead and the sound of feet repelling to the deck. We were the only survivors, soon to be dead, killed by ONI. What a day...

       "That's it for the Weather Report, thank you Dan, and now for a special report, this breaking news, a ghost ship has washed ashore. There is no sign of the crew being on the ship and both escape pods are intact (ONI loves to tamper with things like this...). No cargo is missing, but it is believed that a pirate vessel attacked the ship and killed the crew. We will keep you updated as more is revealed about this tragedy. The names of the crew have not been released though we are told that there were 12 aboard at departure and that at least two of the crew were noble soldiers. May god take good care of them. Lucy, back to you." The news report flickered of the screen and a plump man in a suit frowned.

       "Was that really needed, to kill them all?" the man asked another skinny man with dark hair next to him.

       "Well, we still have that one on the loose, think of the damage he could do. We had to do it." The skinny man replied.

       "Well... Whatever... I just hope these are the last lives the projects claim, too many innocents have died for the secrets of this planet already..."