FHD Remix Chapter 23
Previous: FHD Remix Chapter 22: Big Featherwing Gun
Chapter 23: Source X
"What do you think of the rifle?" Tatakai asks as she finds McCormick crouched on the ground, panting and pointing it at her.
He lowers it and says, "Oh, thank God."
"I told you I'd be right back," she says. Seeing a few more black spots on the floor as she checks around, holding her shotgun, she remarks, "Looks like you bagged a few."
"What did you do to this thing?" he asks, "The security teams we sent through the portal called these rifles useless."
"I make a special poison," she explains, "added it to the ammunition and well ... It looks like you know the rest." She offers her hand, "Let me top it up for you."
Ian McCormick opens the rifle with his shaking hands and lets the clip slide out of its holder into her hand, then slides in his full spare and closes it. "After everything I've seen, there is no way I'm having this unloaded for longer than it takes to change the magazine."
Tatakai tops up the rifle magazine, then hands it back to him. Standing to move towards the test chamber, Ian says, "Wait, you have to help me first. I'm going to try to get the teleporter systems running again. The areas are destroyed around us, so it is the only way through this part of the complex. You'll need to find me a working plasma inducer. It's all I need to get the-"
Tatakai disengages the BFG 9000 from her chest mount and lowers it, setting it on the floor and starts field stripping it like an expert. First, she removes the ammunition cell, then from inside it, presses a hidden switch. It beeps and splits cross wise, the front half extending from the back, retained by dowel-like extensions.
"Whoa," he gasps. She pulls out its plasma inducer and offers him the beer can shaped device.
"It's a temporary loan, since this thing won't work without it," she offers.
"First off, once you’ve teleported across the chamber, you can't come back for it. A-a-and second ... it's the wrong type, it won't fit. You can look for it in Operations. I have a security clearance, I'll open some doors for you," he fumbles for his PDA.
"No need," she says, handing it back to him, "Sorry for not asking, but I really wanted this thing before the enemy got at it," she gestures to the super-cannon.
"We don’t have a lot of time, please hurry," he begs.
Tatakai chuckles as she reassembles her big gun and locks it onto the front of her armour.
"You're going to need to teleport across the containment chamber," he explains, "It's the only way through this part of the complex."
"Why? Did they put in some walls that aren't on the plans I saw in control upstairs?" Tatakai asks lightly.
"Well," McCormick says, "Unless you can fly?"
"I’ll get to that later," she says, lifting up a chair to sit on backwards, "I jammed up the main transmitter pretty good, and sent a warning to ... my superiors back on Earth ... we have some time. So, Ian ... the only effective countermeasure against remote capture by the Soul Stealers is codenamed Source X ... How did you come to accept the love of the Saviour? Especially ... if you helped our enemy come through?"
Ian starts, "Well..." then trails off, tears starting to flow down his cheeks. He turns to his console, his trembling hands press a few switches, calls up a recording.
The machine starts talking, various voices, almost a gibberish:
"I'm getting abnormal readings here ... This is bad, I can't hold these levels, We’re losing it! I'm getting all kinds of movement here ... They're breaking through the walls! ... They're coming through the portal ... We have unidentified movement coming from all over the base."
Tatakai recognizes it. She tightens her grip on the chair and closes her eyes. Her own voice emerges from the recording:
"Dr. Betruger has taken artifact U-1 into the Delta 4 Portal. I say again, Dr. Betruger has taken artifact U-1 into the Delta 4 Portal. Call the Saviour. His name is-"
"I got down on my hands and knees right then," Ian explains, "All I said was, Loving Saviour Jesus protect me."
The recording continues,
"We need to set up a-" then in stattaco rhythm, seven gunshots are fired.
< I don’t remember it happening that quickly,> she thinks.
"All units this is Sergeant Kelly. We are under attack by an unknown enemy force. Fall back to Marine HQ to regroup. I say again, fall back to Marine HQ and await further-" the voice changes as Kelly is drowned out, "I don’t know where to go ... they have Sinclair ... we have massive civilian casualties in Sublevel,"
Tatakai's voice rings through again, "Sergeant, Dr. Ishii was captured by the enemy. I had to kill what was left of him. Only those who know the Saviour are immune."
"Oh no! Oh no, something’s got me ... something's got a hold-"
"Brooks!" Tatakai gasps as he screams, "I can't believe I missed it. His body almost killed me."
Ian skips the recording ahead six minutes.
The Sergeant chastises somebody, "Greenborough, the fact of U-1's existence is highly restricted information. I don't know how you found out, but watch what you say on the radio from now on."
He stops the recording. "You saved my life ... saved my eternity in those moments. Years of preaching by insensitive pastors and priests, reverends and brothers," he says the last word dripping with sarcasm, "could not get through to me ... but in that moment, hearing you, I realized ... his love is the only thing that can stop the evil."
"Strangely," Tatakai says, "his love has a new name today ... Tatakai ... that's what he calls me. He asked my superiors to send me specifically."
"But why?" Ian says.
"I didn’t take the monorail to get here," she says, "I was in the Sublevel under Mars City at the time the invasion started."
"But that's impossible- I mean, how could you possibly get here by now unless you had a vehicle or-" Ian McCormick stops with a quick, shallow, gasp of realization.
"Hell is on the other side of the portal?" she asks, "These creatures," gesturing to the black spots, "demons?"
McCormick nods, "I say exactly that on this disk," he grabs it from the desk and offers it to her, "It's a journal I made about the experiments, those things. It's all there. It'll explain everything, get it to someone so this will never happen again."
"Someone like Hogosho Kurato, perhaps? Director of Science Operations on the Board?"
Ian McCormick nods, "Perfect."
"So, Ian ... I'm asking you this basically so I don't scare the crap right out of you," Ian notices as she reaches around her sides to open special ports in her spacesuit, "What do you think an angel would be like?"
Ian gasps, "You-? You're an angel?"
Tatakai deploys her wings and nods, spreading them in the not-too-small room, with dihedral to extend them towards the ceiling.
Ian half gasps, half laughs, "That's amazing!"
She folds them over her back, "So do we still need that plasma inducer?"
He shakes his head, "No," then waves at the wall in front of his console, "The fewer of these are operational, the better off we'll be." He shakes her hand and says, "Go fly, angel Tatakai ... and thanks for your demon poison."
Tatakai gets up to go, he warns, "Stay away from the bottom of the chamber ... it's infested with delta radiation ... nasty stuff."
"Sit tight and try not to be noticed," she instructs, "I have no idea how long those hundred and twenty rounds will need to last you." She pauses and pulls out another clip, "Here you go," she whispers, "If what I've heard about this Soul Cube is correct, once I have it, I might not even need ammo." She also shows him how to prep ammunition by using a Pyrostop extinguisher on his pistol ammunition, and leaves him one of those as well.
Next: FHD Remix Chapter 24: Gates of Hell