CHAPTER 1 - Blue Mesa Charlie Foxtrot
Friday, 25th of March 14:40 PM NGT – New Gibson, Outside of Hengsha Arcology
On the plains outside of the Arcology, a light breeze blows throughout the frozen wastes.
The plains are vast, endless... the only sound apart from crystal ice and snowy winds is a thunderous sound, like the engines of old, as it ripples through the air.
A special project, designed by New Gibson's engineers, used for the first time by the squad leading the investigation on the strange silence that has befallen Blue Mesa. The Eagle shakes the skies with its dual-engine's roar, white and black striped, it rides the mild weather with ease. Inside, a thinly armored sheet protects them from the elements. The four steel themselves for the trial ahead.
"What a beautiful sight..." he sighs.
"What? Don't tell me you still like the look of plain white Boss," says Wierz in a slightly high pitched voice.
"Hah, like he'll ever get over it, man's got ice for blood," he says in a deep growling voice.
"Like that one time Cuts, when-", says Phory before being interrupted.
"Cut the chatter team, we'd best do an equipment check before we land," he says as he turns from the small slit window to face his team. "You know the drill, internals, weapons, stocks and don't forget the knives," he points to every item in the item rack in the back of the Eagle.
"Right, let's see, experimental weapon number 1," he picks up the weapon from the steel wall in the back of the Eagle, it is light and slim.
"Designed to cut through almost anything, biological or otherwise, gotta love them boys in R&D, twelve shots with 24 in the magazine, sights, and a modular lightweight design," he starts distributing the weapons to his team.
"Yeah yeah Cuts, let's not be too trigger happy okay? Let's see..." she starts taking out smaller items from the item rack. "Four grenades, loaded and primed, four flash-bangs. Flash-bangs?" she shrugs, as she stuffs them into her external pockets.
"Hey Phory, Cuts, any name for these new babies?" he says, as he lifts one of them in the air and points his finger to it.
"We'll see about that, best weapon names are forged in fire Wierz."
Wierz shrugs while a pinging sound and a bright red flashing light blinks in the Eagle's main corridor.
"All right everyone, suit sensors on, we're closing on Blue Mesa." he says as he straps his gear and makes a final check for everyone's suits and equipment.
The Eagle approached a large, mountainous wall of ice. In front its vast walls lies a large empty landing pad, covered in snow and ice. If not for the GPS signal, it would be invisible.
"Blue Mesa, do you copy, over?" says the first pilot.
"Blue Mesa, we are inbound on your location, responding to your security alert, please copy, over."
"Seems like their air turrets are offline" says the second pilot.
"Much like everything else, no readings on sensors for any outside company, and no contact on the radio."
He nods, "Preparing primary thrusters to land."
The Eagle touches down on the landing pad, snow lifting in the air, gripping its talons on the pads secure doc graspers.
The light inside the main corridor turns green. "Here we go..."
The door hisses open, as all four jump outside into the cold weather of New Gibson. They make their way to the main airlock, facing the large ice wall. Snow lightly cover them...
"Team we'll sit back for extraction. Signal once clear so we spool and bounce, over?" says the pilot.
"Roger that, keep her ready."
"Woah...", a massive metal hangar door is in front of them, sealed shut by ice. Two airlock doors come out of the hangar door with the flag of Blue Mesa on top of them, half covered in snow.
"Blue Mesa sure knows how to impress," he laughs, as he grabs his multi-tool from his pocket.
"Wierz, you know what to do, the rest of you cover him," he points out, spreading out in a circular pattern around him.
"All right, let's see... Seems like it's operational at least, has power," he nods.
"Boss, what's our objective again?" she asks, shruging.
"I-I just..." she sighs.
"Calm down, Phory, find the captain's quarters for a map of the place, grab item 3412, initiate phoron purge."
"R-right! I can't wait, I mean, you don't get to set off a phoron nuke everyday right?" she says excitedly.
"No, and make sure we're far from it when you set it up, remember training?" he puts his hand on his black and red striped EVA mask.
"Y-yeah... yeah. I won't disappoint. I promise."
"Got it!" he exclaims.
"Everyone, get in, lets see what mess we've gotten ourselves in."
The airlock doors open with a metallic groan, despite the accumulated ice. They all gather inside as the doors shut behind them and the automated pressurization begins.
"Keep close and stay alert," he says as he grips his weapon with both hands and bringing it to bear.
The doors hisses open as they step out, one behind another, weapons at the ready. However, they are met with a gruesome sight... In front of them lies a massive hangar, Blue Mesa banners hang around the many entrances that dot the walls. The floor is filled with improvised barricades and blinking yellow lights signal an emergency evacuation is in effect.
They scatter slightly, checking the floor filled with...
"Bodies, lot's of them."
"Jesus..." she says as she grabs her cross on her neck.
"The station's on low lights, probably to conserve energy, I recommend we turn on our helmet lights."
"Do it team, stay close."
The helmet lights turn on, illuminating the hangar. Crates, barricades and some equipment lie all around.
"It seems like they dug in," he said, kneeling down and checking the bodies.
"Not well enough."
"They... Boss, they seem like they were cut into pieces!" she gasps as she turns over a couple of people laying on the ground. The bodies were wearing medical, science, security and civilian clothes. Mostly science personnel.
"Do any of you recognize what could have done this?"
"No idea... Holo's don't have us fighting whatever this was, maybe a robot gone mad with a saw?"
Phory closes the eyes of the men and women she finds on the floor. "... Where do we go now Boss?"
Boss points to the top of the indoor hangar. "That's our first objective, the facilities map."
The Captain's Room overlooking the hangar contained everything they needed to navigate the maze of rooms in Blue Mesa.
"There should be some way to get up there..." she said as she moved towards the center of the hall, looking at the room up top.
"We could take the shortcut," he begins to take out an item from his backpack.
"Here, we'll climb our way up," he takes out a type of gun with a sharp spike and a length of rope attached to it.
"Is... is that from the minin' boys?" she asked, stunned.
"Yes, we can use it to break through the window and climb inside," he positions the grapple on the floor.
"Thank you R&D..." he chuckles.
The team gathers up, the sharp spike breaks through the Captain's window as they zip up to the room that once held the leaders of Blue Mesa. The Captain's quarters contain many consoles, unpowered, however one of them is still online. The door leading to the main corridor seems welded shut and it's control panel is destroyed.
"What... happened here?"
"Boss... the captain," he says as he notices the captain, over the slowly light-blue screen working console.
"What was he trying to do?"
Boss takes his body off and wipes the console clean, "It seems he was the one who allowed the shuttle to take off, he opened the hangar doors. He also was trying to... open the hangar airlock lockdown," he sighs.
Phory drags the Captain's body to a nearby chair, chanting a small prayer and looking at his wounds. "We have a problem..."
"Wierz, get the map, what's the issue Phory?" he turns to her as Wierz works on the console.
"The Captain's wounds... they're not the same as the ones downstairs," she says as she points to the smoking holes in the Captain's chest.
"Weapons, not ours. Powerful, maybe..."
"I got them! I got the map, the item's past a room called Test Chamber N-03 in the next block. Wow this place is bigger than I thought..." he says as he syncs up the map with the team's hardsuits.
"All right, time to make our way there, any other useful info on the server?" he asks as he turns to his team.
"No... the data's been purged, except for the map and-"
"Do you hear that?"
Tingling, metallic sounds come from the maintenance shaft in front of them.
"That's where we need to-" suddenly, the doors are forced open!
"What the!" he shouts.
A gruesomely tall monster comes out of the darkness, screeching and shuffling awkwardly, fast, towards the team.
"Deltas, weapons free!"