Taking Tritus Last Part
Posted By: Dispraiser<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 December 2002, 8:45 am
I began to move again but stopped suddenly. I heard a mechanical whir in the room. I quickly looked left and right, nothing. The room was well enough lit I could be fairly well assured of that. Again I head a weak whir. Flipping into a sitting position I nervously tried to pinpoint the location the noise was emanating from. I listened. I could faintly hear it. It was coming from the corner. Walking over I raised my rifle. The whirring continued as I searched some more, I was pretty sure I was getting close. I pressed an ear against the cold, metal wall. The noise wasn’t coming from the wall, it was in the room. I checked the rifle. The safety was on, so I quickly flipped it off and cocked the rifle. I suddenly realized where the whir was coming from as the commander came through the door.
“Congratulations! Nice work man!” he said, I raised two fingers and nodded up towards the ceiling, silencing him. He looked up, seeing the security camera and carefully looked out into the hallway and peered both ways, making sure no one was following him. He stepped inside. “Is it active?” he asked quietly. I nodded. The camera moved again honing in on his face. “Are the cables intact?” I nodded a no to him. He walked over and looked at it. It was like all the rest, the video decoder clipped out, but this one was moving, watching us. Why? I had no idea, but it was still active, and unless the operator of the camera was extremely lucky, they were following my movements, or in other words, they were watching me. I quickly grabbed my pistol and shot the bottom of the camera a few times. I looked down, ignoring the camera intentionally, the last thing I needed was more stress.
”Get Johnson checking this out, I want to know what this is and why it is here, and Commander, you’d better look at this.” I gestured to the radio. I had recorded my conversations down here ever since people began to disappear, you know, in case none of us made it out alive. I had conveniently recorded the conversation I had recently held with Counsel Ginkog, all of it. If I did make it out alive, I would also have my sweet revenge blowing the Counsels love child affair wide open, revenge for him sending us down here. The commander listened to the tape as Johnson dissected the dead monster. Using crude scalpels, nothing more than a combat knife, and even cruder tools beyond that for other purposes, Johnson sliced apart the beast. The commander, after hearing the tape that I had, was shocked, revolted by our governments own capacity to send some of its own men on a near to suicide mission. Johnson finished first, the commander with his jaw gaping to a size that near to matched the incision in the side of the monster.
“Well guys, look at what we have here. We have an almost normal superhuman. Bones unusually strong, some extra ones to cover weak points like the throat. This is no ordinary man. I cut into the rid cage and found most of the ordinary organs, though they were all revamped to get superior power out of them, and then I found this.” He held up a red, fleshy sac. “It’s a blood sac, see, when this thing loses blood, it just fills it right backup, an auto blood reserve. That is so cool, I mean, it could practically become immortal. But besides that, the skin. It isn’t really like ours. It isn’t really like anything I’ve ever seen before. I mean, it looks like ours, duh, but it is actually cybernetic, and when a hole is created, like a gunshot wound the nearby skin stretches to cover it. Seriously, this is one creature you do not want to fight, not even on a bad day. There are countless other things too. The eyes appear to be able to zoom in, their brain is heavily modified, these things are hardly even human. That paired up with the Counsels confession forces me to believe that these are some prototype super soldier.”
“We checked the whole facility, there is no facility in this base that could possibly do that. They had to come from somewhere else.”
“Ah. You have a point there, and you are right. They didn’t come from here. I noticed something before anyone from our team died, the Aquios was missing.” Johnson said.
“And the Aquios is what?”
“A large submarine down here, about fifty feet long, and it has been gone for quite some time. Too long. It left for something, and given its air and fuel supplies, it should be due back at least six hours ago.”
“And that means?”
“Well, one of two things, that it is parked somewhere in a remote location, or they killed it somehow.” He said.
“Alright, any beacons we could use to find it?”
“Nope, radar has been down forever, wasn’t even working when we first showed up. But there is the Aquios 2 and 3 still docked, and we could easily just search for it.”
The commander considered it for a few seconds. He was not one to waste time in a search that may produce nothing, so he clearly expected a recovery when he beckoned for us to go to the airlock and suit up.
I loaded a volley of spears into the speargun, and left my rifle in the corner behind some crates. All my equipment was gone, replaced with a large space suit caliber bulky suit. Its green color was tarnished in only a few places, and was kept in surprisingly good condition despite how the nerds in these labs often had no disregard that the money the UNSC was spending on them would really be much more useful if spent on a rifle for a front line soldier. I slid the glass helmet over my head and began to see, or rather hear immediate effects. The outside noises were butchered, a result of the thick glass plating that kept the lethal water from crushing my head. My breathing, however, was magnified, echoing in the tiny dome. All three of us stepped into the next room, seeming very heroic due to our lowered range of motion from the suits. We were almost moving in slow motion as we stepped into the airlock and I pressed a red rectangular button. The door behind us slid shut, and our last glimpses of the inside of the structure, now all we could see was the gray room that was the airlock. The air drained from the room, as I pressed a yellow button. Three lights, all white labeled with the first three numeral began to illuminate as I moved a fist over the green button. 3, 2, 1 it read, and as it said 1 I hit the button and released the outer door of the facility to the ocean. Water flooded into our room, and forced a glowing fish to hit the commander in the face, sucked in as if the airlock was a vacuum.
The swirling water eventually subsided, and the blackness of the ocean filled in. a flood light shimmered in the distance, giving us enough light to press a button on our wrists and activate the lights on our own suits. The beams of light reflecting off the particles of sediment in the water formed a glowing beam before each of us, extending just long enough to see two arms lengths forwards. We stepped out of the airlock and stepped onto a ladder that led to the launch bays, and stepped down slowly, scaling the wall of the dome structure, and arriving at the sediment covered base of the facility after about ten minutes of scaling. Sunk to my knees in filth, I walked over to the first launch bay and stepped in. The columns near me formed a sense of relative safety, that and the flood lights that were set up within. Our legs motion through the sediment cased a brown cloud to engulf the bottom half of us, and as we stepped onto the cement ledge. We all hopped along in the low gravity, and effects of the water to the submarine Aquios 3, and clamored clumsily atop it. The commander kneeled down and grabbed the hatch, twisting it a few times, he pulled it up and revealed an interior coated in complex patterns of buttons, at least three hundred in numbers. The commander dropped inside the Aquios 3 and stepped aside as Johnson dropped into the craft. Following behind them I placed my hands on the handrails and lowered down into the craft, closing the hatch behind me as the commander hit a glowing white button. The water drained slowly from the craft, and as it reached our feet, the commander twisted his helmet and listened to the refreshing his of the pressure equalizing. Johnson and myself followed suite, and our wants, cracking the helmets seal and slipping off the suit. Sitting down next to the commander in the second seat of the craft I looked out of the glass dome that was the “window” of the ship. You couldn’t, however, see anything from the window, the murky water blocking any possible vision. Johnson sat down at the navigator seat and flipped a few switched activating the navigation systems. The screen flickered as a green 3d map appeared. It was real time, I could tell, and it was also from our perspective, graphing it out as a visual aide. The commander too was busily leaning forwards flipping switches as the ships engines warmed up. He leaned back into the pilot seat and grabbed the yolk of the craft, and in a surprisingly graceful manner, slowly accelerating and slipping out of the artificial cavern.
Speaking into the flight recorder he began to document the mission, “Alright, exiting the docking bay, beginning search for what we believe is the remains of the Aquios one in the sixteenth sea column. Activating flood lights across the board.” The sea before us was suddenly very bright. “The radar signature of the Aquios will be buried in muck if it is at the bottom of the sea, so a manual search is in need.” The craft sped away through the water, searching for the mysterious object.
8 Minutes later, it was located. A sealab much smaller than the Tritus, the unmarked lab hosted only the Aquios and a tiny lab. Refastening our helmets the commander docked our craft. The Sealab, surprisingly was only a couple hundred feet form the main lab, and pointed strait at it. Floating out of the craft, we stepped within the airlock, now half full of muddy, murky water. Stepping over to the wall Johnson hit a button and the door slid shut behind us, the room suddenly becoming much lighter. Hitting another button he drained the water from the room, the commander slipping his helmet off quickly once again. I stared at him wondering why he hated the suit so much.
“What? I have a little claustrophobia.” He said, clearly spotting my glare.
“Claustrophobia? You’re on a freaking sealab, the ultimate kingdom of tiny places and camped confines. How can you survive?” I asked, fumbling with the speargun, the only weapon besides a combat knife we were allowed to bring with us. I popped my helmets seal and slid it off my head. I began to shed the suit as the commander moved towards me.
“Wait, leave that on, it’s is probably half decent armor.” He said as I stopped unzipping the suit. And began to move towards the door into the main facility. Johnson, who took off his helmet while we were talking, hit the button to open the lab to the airlock. As it opened my ears popped, temporarily filtering my hearing though the minor problem was fixed as I swallowed. Taking point I slid across the wall to the hallway, and checking both the left and right I signaled that the room was clear. Spinning to the right I paced along the curving hallway until we had arrived at the opposite end of the facility.
“What’s that smell?” Johnson asked, smelling the scent of decay.
“I don’t know, let’s go in and figure it out later.” I said, moving closer to the smells source. Stepping up to the door I pressed my hand against the security hand scanner. The door showed a red light and denied me access. The commander, confused, went and pressed his palm against the machine, it denying him too. Johnson was already searching for an alternate route in. A door behind us was unlocked, so though we figured that it was out of our way we slid that door open to reveal a dark storage closet. A foul stench came from within it. Standing to the left of the doorframe I quickly scanned the room with my flashlight. The room was full of bodies, and the floor slick with crimson blood. Some of the people, scientist judging by the way they were dressed had no gunshot wounds, probably the same snapped necks that Techinak and Carsons died from. About a half dozen military personnel also lie on the floor, most of them with gunshot wounds to the chest and head regions. The commander groaned, though I doubt it was from disgust, probably actually sympathy. Most of these men were probably killed in cold blood.
”Oh my god. Look at all of them.” Johnson said. He was a relative newbie to the berets, and wasn’t ready for such emotional shock. I however was drained of these emotions and decided instead to grab a body and slide it over to the door, hopefully they were granted access. The scientists head wobbled loosely, not connected by more than a thread of his spinal column and his skin as I dragged him. The commander however, who had seen even more field action that me was also sickened by this, causing me to question whether or not I was doing the right thing, dragging the body like I did. Pressing it’s cold dead hand against the panel I was glad to see that a green light guaranteed my access as the door hissed open. Inside was a somewhat short hallway and a wall. A metal door to the left and a large glass window to the right along with computers that dotted the walls, the room was clearly some kind of monitoring room. Behind the window I could see little, it was too far away to see much detail, but the room was clearly a body building room, and was host to a variety of weightlifting equipment as well as a target dummy of all the different breeds of Covenant and one that I had never seen before. It was tall, and looked like a large monkey with thick fur.
The commander patted me roughly on the shoulder, “Nice work Caleb, you have a future ahead of you in the Marine corps.”
“I had a future behind me too. I already made it to the berets.” I replied.
“Right…” he said. To him that was no achievement at all as long as he could do more.
Johnson, who was in the room gestured at something and yelled back to us, “Hey guys, come check this out.”
“What?” I asked as I stepped in, suddenly feeling a lot heavier.
“Watch.” he replied. He set his speargun down on the ground near to the open door. As soon as he let go it began to slide across the floor slowly into the bottom of the doorframe. “I think that we found an artificial gravity field. This is some kind of training facility, and look at these cryo tubes. I looked up at the inside of the circular room, its walls lined with about 32 cryo bays. Two were empty, and a few coated in red blood from some slip ups, probably the two that got free trying to save their comrades, accidentally slipping up and casing depressurization, which splattered their friends. The rest were still in hyper-sleep in their cryo tubes. I grabbed my rife and stepped into the room, feeling an immediate increase in my weight. Slamming the butt of the rifle down on the first cryo tube I watched as the first of them died. From the freezer burn as their absolute zero slumber quickly became lethally cold. Moving to the next cryo tube I smashed in the glass finding similar results until I had crushed in the glass of every cryo tube in the room. MY merciless killings were looked down upon by the commander and Johnson, though I knew that each of them knew it had to be done. Stepping back out of the chamber I tilted my head quickly towards the computers. Johnson, recovering from his shock quickly leapt to the task, immediately typing and opening up a series of directories. With a few more prompts, he had opened up the mission statements regarding what was down here.
<Sept. Entry. Loading… … … … … … … Completed>
This is Agans, reporting to give a routine check up. We are having some little problems, just glitches in the systems. One of the cryo bays sealed itself and it took us a day to release the clamps properly, just a minor setback though. The Spartan 3 prototypes are getting to unusually high levels of thought, they have began to create leaders among their ranks with no intervention from us, they are forming their own society. This could help us, because if we were to execute the leaders they would follow us like docile lambs.
<Oct. Entry. Loading… … … … … … … Completed>
This is Agans. We killed the leader, and all is well now. They are basically worshipping us. In the weight room, they made it to 3 g’s today, lifting their usual workload of 15 hundred pounds. We seem to be having a routine month…
Johnson skipped the rest of the posts up till the December post.
<Dec. Entry. Loading… … … … … … … Completed>
This is the crew of the Tritus. We are banding together now. All communications were cut a while back, and members of the team have started to go missing with no explanation. Tow of the Spartans are missing, so we sense that they are at the center of this. They were the leaders. We didn’t know that they would fight back, we gave them sedatives, but they had somehow avoided receiving them. We need help. If anyone sees this… Help us…
Johnson scratched the back of his head. I too had gathered a disgust for the nerds down here after seeing that. They executed the leader? But that was what I had just done to all of them. I was conflicted inside over this, as was the rest of the team. The commander however had made up his mind. We were done here. He linked his suit to the computers and uploaded all the lab reports and saved them for later retrieval.
I stepped out of the airlock at Tritus and unfastened my helmet, my ears popping again. Slipping out of the suit I went to get my bag, but it was gone. The Spartan had found it. I loaded the speargun. It’s just one of those days. The commander and Johnson followed me as we ran through the hallways to the elevator as quick as I could, and scrambled aboard without a single sighting of the thing. Speargun in hand I frantically hit the elevator call button as I heard the commander and Johnson catching up. I was like lightning fleeing.. To think I once was considered brave. Bouncing the gun up and down in my hand I waited for the elevator to arrive, it’s hum getting closer, s I began to hear distant footsteps. The elevator hit our floor with lighting fast speed, though it seemed to take much longer for it to come down this time than when we had first come. Jumping inside the circular elevator shaft along with the commander and Johnson I hit the elevator button. As the elevator began to seal the doors I saw a blur of the Spartan run closer. The doors slammed shut just as the Spartan began to smash the door.
“Tracy, get us out of here! Any way that you can speed up this damn elevator?” I shouted up at the ceiling.
“No. I am afraid that there is no way. I am detecting an unauthorized launch of the Aquios 3 though. Hailing craft.” A pause ensued though we knew that it was the Spartan and that she would not reply. “No reply from the craft. Checking subsystems for errors. None found. Would you like me to attempt to communicate again?”
“No Tracy, just try to get us out of here!” I said, my foot tapping the floor rampantly. The noise echoed down the long tunnel as we continued up towards the surface. Jumping out of the elevator and into the rain as quick as possible I rolled a grenade back into the shaft and watched it slip through the grates, falling down the elevator shaft. The crew who was stationed at the landing site now had time to react to our arrival and began to stand, confused by our actions. Three seconds later an explosion sounded off accompanied by a rush of air as the shafts delicate sides exploded outwards allowing water to rush in. The wind dried up a little, though not enough as the rain continued to pour down on us.
“What the hell happened? You just sunk Tritus! Why the hell did you do that?!?” shouted a clearly angered and confused Hagan, who had his rifle ready nonetheless.
‘The.. the thing… Spartan facility… They killed them all…” I was out of breath.
“Who was killed? The scientists?”
Regaining my composure, “Yes, the scientists… and the MP were all killed.”
“And what the hell is a Spartan?”
“We don’t really know, but it kicked the shit out of the crew.” I said.
Suddenly the water behind us exploded as the submarine surfaced. “And here it comes.” Said the commander, who readied his harpoon gun. The hatch opened as the cloud behind it exploded, a Pelican flying by at low speeds and a high velocity, flames shooting from an engine, a few plasma volleys following it. A banshee also followed suite, flying low and fast after the Pelican. Coming into clear view above us was one of the last things you ever wished to see, a Covenant battleship, and we were sitting right below the beam used to incinerate planets. The clouds scattered as it hovered above us, the torrent of rain averted from us. The purple mass began to glow, it’s beam charging. It was all over unless we got to the sub, which required the death of our special friend. Suddenly a person flung up from the side of the landing platform, a trail of water streaming behind it. I fired off a spear at it, and missed, Markson fired a few rounds at it as well, hitting it once. It landed on Hagan, pinning him on the ground and delivering a swift deathblow to his throat. It leapt into the air again as we fired more munitions at it. Hitting the ground and accelerating to a speed where it almost blurred, it circled around behind the commander and struck him in the back of the neck, his body swiftly collapsing. I fired another spear at it, this one sticking through its shoulder. If was hit with the recoil of the impact, though the monster ran again, this time to Markson. Kicking him in the abdomen Markson was launched through the air and landed in the water, swept away by the waves of the torrent. Williams who lie on the ground defenseless stared in horror as the beast grabbed Johnson and threw him into the elevator shaft. His screams echoed as he fell to his death. I aimed for his chest and fired again, a rod impaling him near to the diaphragm. Angered it ran towards me and struck me over the side of my head. I threw the gun at Williams as I flew backwards, sliding on the slick, wet landing platform. I grabbed the combat knife and waved it at it, threatening it’s next attack. Instead of charging me it pulled the rod out of its shoulder. The lightning struck near to the landing platform as it raised the pole and hit me in the jaw with it. There was a great surge of pain as it smashed in my jaw. Some of my teeth flew and bounced to a stop on the nearby ground of the platform. It flipped the pole over, and grabbing it with both hand prepared to thrush it through my head when suddenly it’s face exploded, a harpoon smashing through it and into the wall. The bloody body collapsed on my legs as I lie back to die. My teeth, which were lying on the nearby ground, began to rumble as the incinerating death ray from above melted Williams and myself.