First thing I did after we returned to the group was to spew my guts out.
My orders had been clear, to separate from the main group and to move into to a new location within the starport.
The over watch team on the Nike Athena said they had got a fix on the anomaly and gave us precise coordinates to investigate.
Something about the officer's face told me something wasn't right. I asked him if they had a visual on the target but he didn't answer. I asked him about our extract, how we're gonna leave when the operation was over. He said he didn't know. I asked him again and he just said nothing. I knew then that he was talking to a dead woman.
I explained the orders to the group but nobody had much to say. The sound of that poor kid kept playing in our heads. Every sound or movement had become an imagined horror. We must have pumped hundreds of rounds into innocent doors and windows that night.
I told them to stay but I know they wanted to come with us. I think we all thought that if we became separated, we'd never find each other again.
We rolled forward on one engine watching the counter on the positioning system falling down towards zero. Behind, I could see the rest of the group watching us through 'scopes. I fixed that sight in my mind, it might be the last time I would see them.
Ahead of us, an occasional dyybuk would wander across our path but they seemed fixed on their purpose and ignored us. I could see that they were moving from the location and it wasn't hard to miss it now we were closer.
The lagoon was like many of the others, except that it was emitting steam and vapours that filled the air with a thick haze. Our NBC system kept the worst of it out so we could get closer, closer to see what lay inside.
There were these things, moving, consuming, killing. Dyybuks moved around them tending and cleaning them. Occasionally, one of these things got hungry and took a piece from a dybbuk. The dyybuks would stumble and carry on missing a limb or a hand until they were rendered useless. The useless ones then hurled themselves into a waiting maw.
It was then that I saw the Sansica Corporation team moving around the edge of the abyss. They seemed intact talking amongst themselves and using their instruments. I couldn't believe that they had been so close to us all this time.
Only when they turned and looked at us with their empty torn faces did I realise why we'd never got an answer. They pointed at us silently and in the pit, shapes began to move.
I told the driver to start the second engine and we retraced our path, smashing through anything that got in our way. In the rear view sensors, I could see the pits of hell opening up and from it, apparitions and shapes from a dark and dreamy place.
As I coughed and sputtered, I screamed at the rest of them to get in their vehicles and go. They looked at me as though I had gone insane.
In retrospect of course, I realise that they were right.
-- Mission log of Lieutenant Ara Mercator, Recon Group
-- Mission Clock: 32 hours, 21 minutes, 42 seconds
Stephanie Petite figures by DAZ
The FAS-M body armour and helmet is an original conforming outfit created with Hexagon 1.21
The XM-5 AARV vehicle and scenery elements are original models created in Hexagon.
Textured with Photoshop CS2 and UVMapper Pro.
Figures created in Poser 6 and final rendering in Vue 5 Pro Studio. Post processed in Photoshop CS2