Friday, May 24, 2013

The Outpost - Part 2

It's Fiction Friday! Here is an escape pod if fiction is not your thing. Its a YouTube video btw!

This is part 2 of 6 of The Outpost horror fiction short story.

The Outpost - Part 2

The six crew stood in the massive airlock as it slowly pressurised. Down on level 50 they had easily found the entrance to the old base. A huge blast door nearly 10 metres wide and 4 metres high. Behind that was another similar door which created a massive airlock.

"This must have been the original entry airlock for the old colony." mused Chan "They simply built the new, more modern outpost on top."

There was power here inside the airlock, the old reactor apparently was still functioning and appeared to be still powering the old section of the outpost. The red light in the airlock turned green and amber strobe lights flashed at the far door. There was a low rumble as the door slowly lifted. Sakuri held out her scanner towards the corridor. Unlike the upper levels, the corridor here was rock, carved from the asteroid itself.

"20% O2. 79% N2. No significant toxins or harmful gases in the remaining 1%. Pressure at 0.89 atmospheres. 0.9 gravity. Captain this environment is breathable."

"And what about radiation?"

"Minimal sir. I'm getting minor elevated readings but its long-wave I'm guessing the initial pulse from the reactor ripped through here like the rest of the outpost." she pointed at a skeleton slumped in a corner near the airlock. "But it hasn't lingered. I'm guessing these rocks aren't good at holding residual radiation like the metal structures above."

With that Sakuri clipped the scanner to her belt and unclipped her helmet and removed it from her head. The other five looked at her in shock. She smiled back taking a deep breath.

"Good clean air! I can also feel a slight breeze. The life support systems must be still online after 150 years! I guess they don't make 'em like they used to" she laughed. "Local gravity generators are also functioning. This is great!"

One by one the others removed their helmets and breathed the fresh air.

"OK lets move out. Unless anyone fancies spending the rest of their lives in this cave, we've got a ship to fix." the captain said.

The six placed their helmets in a stack by the massive door and removed their cumbersome suits before heading off down the rocky corridor.


The rocky corridor continued on for a while, several side rooms were investigated but appeared empty. Eventually the crew stopped outside a large metal door which was out of place given the other previous rooms with no doors.

"Hydroponics?" Riku noted the word stencilled along the top edge as they stood by the door.

Sakuri was pressing the open button but it was stuck. There was clearly power there, and the door shuddered on each button press, it just wouldn't open. Hiroto lit a small handheld cutting torch.

"Allow me madam." he said "I have the key!"

One minute later the door sprang open as the area of the door surrounding the locking mechanism fell to the floor, its edges glowing with molten metal. Nobody paid any heed to the old weld marks that crudely criss-crossed the back of the old lock. After taking a few steps inside, the crew of the Hope simply stood their in stunned silence as they stared into what could only be described as a jungle.

"How?" asked the captain.

Sakuri walked forward.

"Its all automated. That huge domed window there provides light, the water system is a sealed system and all recycled. Its just been left here for a hundred years to grow."

Slowly the crew split up and started walking around around the amazing gardens. Large fruit hung from trees and varieties of vegitables thrived in beds below. They continued in silence around the vast room. Sakuri passed some fruit bushes and turned a corner and stopped in utter shock. Before her was a small boy, no more than 12 years old picking carrots from a bed. He turned and froze in terror as he saw her.

"Hey!" Sakuri finally managed "Who are you?"

The boy just froze, looking at her wide-eyed and afraid.

"My names Sakuri what is yours?"

"My.... my name is Kenji."

"Please to meet you Kenji. Where are your parents."

"My mom is down below. She sent me here to get some vegetables for the soup" he said slowly and carefully.

"Sakuri we need to get moving to that...." the captain rounded the corner and stopped when he saw the boy "What the...."

Sakuri held out a hand to indicate to him to stop.

"How... how did you all get in to this room?" stammered the boy.

"Through the door over there" Sakuri replied as calming as she could.

"But what about the others? Didn't they try and eat you?"

Sakuri glanced nervously at the captain and then back to the boy. Her mouth opened to reply but was cut short by a high-pitched female scream. The sound made Sakuri's blood turn cold. She and the captain ran back towards the entrance. They almost collided with Chan, Riku and Takuma. They were stood facing it.

Sakuri felt utter revolution It was humanoid but stood at over seven feet tall and was heavily built. Its skin was reddish and covered with growths, warts and hideous sores that leaked puss. Its deformed right arm hung down almost touching the floor. Its three bloated fingers were almost claw-like. Its head could only be described as grotesque. The ears were deformed and pointed, one eye was twice the size of the other and they were unlevel. Its cheeks sagged and hung low. It snarled at the five crew displaying a twisted mouth containing only a few teeth, all of which were filed down to a wicked point. Over its left shoulder it was carrying the unconscious body of Natsumi.

"Sakuri, as science officer of our top-flight, elite crew, I wonder if you could kindly tell me what the frack our new 'friend' is." the captain said in a low and measure tone.

"Sir, I'm not sure. But at a guess, that is the great-great-great-grandson, or may be granddaughter, of the crew that were trapped in this section when the reactor blew. If you wanted me to be specific its actually probably seventh generation from the original crew, but I thought you might be OK with me just being quick and skipping a few great-great's on its probably family tree. It has classic radiation-based mutations, but I've never heard of anything having so many together and surviving. I'd also like to add in my professional opinion that it is probably not friendly."

"No shit!" replied the captain "Right what we....."

The Captain stopped as three more of the hulking creatures entered via the door. Each was unique in appearance, but also generally the same, horrifically mutated.

"You cannot beat them. They are too strong." the voice of the boy murmured quietly behind them. "There is a tunnel at the back. It leads to my family. You will fit, they won't. Lets go!"

The four creatures roared in unison as the young boy ran off. The crew exchanged glances and then took off after him. The newly arrived creatures gave chase.

The sound of their footsteps resonated through the cavern. Trees shook and fruit fell onto the metal grating with a clang. Sakuri saw the boy disappear around a corner and followed. There ahead, an emergency outflow pipe had its grating removed. At a metre and a half wide the crew would be able to fit, but those deformed creatures couldn't. She saw the boy duck and vanish into the pipe. She quickly followed with the captain and then Chan. The three looked back and saw Hiroto followed by Riku skid around the corner followed closely by the creatures. Hiroto rushed into the tunnel and collided with Chan. Riku dived into the tunnel but suddenly stopped. He looked at his ship mates in pure terror as he was dragged from the pipe, back into the gardens, his outstretched hand too far away from his crew-mates A mutant appeared at the entrance to the pipe and shoved a deformed arm as far as it could reach. Chan scurried back away from the grasping claws that nearly reached his feet. The creature roared in frustration and then it vanished, and it was silent again.

"We have to go" whispered the boy and the four remaining crew crawled after the disappearing youngster.

The five crawled down the tube with Sakuri muttering quietly under her breath 'Aren't you going to join us?'.


After 10 minutes of crawling through a network of pipes, dropping every few metres, the crew emerged in a small cavern. Sakuri could tell this was the old part of the outpost. Small flickering lights were bolted to the rough-hewn wall and masses of cables and piping ran along the sides, held in place by metal ties.

The boy led them out along a narrow cave which then opened out into a massive chamber. A dozen people milling about suddenly froze at the sight of the strangers.

"It's OK they are friends." called the boy "Mom! I found some people."

Slowly a woman approached. She wore old overalls, Caldari in design that had been patched countless times. She looked in their early 30's. A man suddenly joined her by her side. The man looked very wary of the new arrivals but the woman, she had a welcoming look on her face.

"Welcome to our home." she said before the man pushed in front of her protectively.

"That's far enough." he snapped "Who are you and where did you come from?" he demanded. The woman pushed him out of the way.

"Forgive my friend here. He's a little protective of me. I'm Mayu." the woman said. "But, whilst he is a bit rude, my friend is wanting to know what we all do. Where did you come from?"

"We docked in a ship." replied the Captain who had moved to the front of the group.

Suddenly there were gasps and crieds from the now assembled crowd.

"A ship? You are here to rescue us? After all these years?" Mayu said excitedly.

"Now don't get your hopes up. The ships dead. We need a power source to get it working again. We scanned an active reactor down here and were looking for it when we were attacked by those, those things. What in Divinities Edge are they? They took two of my crew."

The woman looked sad.

"Please come with me and I'll explain everything."

She led the group into a small side cavern which appeared to function as a house. There were beds and cabinets, mostly made from scavenged parts. Sakuri could see they had made the best of it as they could. Warm soup was past around as Mayu told the story that had been passed down through the generations.

She told of the fateful day that the gateway closed. The crew assumed she meant the large double blast-doors that interfaced with the newer outpost construction. Most likely an emergency protocol when the station doors were breached and it began to de-pressurise All in, over 300 people were trapped in the old part of the outpost. They all felt the hot wave of radiation pass over them. Those in the levels nearest the 'gateway' lasted a few weeks before they died of the sickness. Those in the mid-levels suffered sickness but survived. However, their off-spring were hideously deformed. Those in the lowest levels where they were now, appeared to be unharmed. Over the years the two societies separated The mutants, now known as 'The Others' and the 'Uneffected' slowly grew apart until one day a mutant attacked one of the 'Uneffected' and killed them. Tensions raised due to the sadistic nature of the attack. Soon attacks by the mutants increased. It wasn't long before numbers of the Uneffected were dwindling. Eventually, demolition charges were set off in the main corridors, stopping the attacks but also trapping the Uneffected below. However, with the network of pipes, the Uneffected knew they would be able to sneak up to one of the 3 hydroponic gardens and weld the outer door shut providing a safe source of food and water. The mother was unable to tell how long ago that was but the crew guessed it must have only been two or so decades after the disaster. There had been many attacks since, the mutants would open up new passages or find a way through. Now only a handful of Uneffected as they called themselves remained.

"What will become of my captured crew?" the captain asked when she'd finished.

"I'm sorry captain. But the Others are, well they are evil. The dreaded heat all those years ago not only effected their bodies, but also their minds. They are cruel, depraved and sadistic. Your crew will be used for the Others pleasure before gracing their dinner table. The stories we have of what they used to do to us Uneffected, well they are only told as horror stories and never around children. Least to say, being eaten alive comes as a mercy in the end. They say the screams of their victims can be heard for days before they eventually feed on them." she replied with a tear in her eye.

"Sorry. Not on my watch. We're getting them back, powering up the ship and getting off this rock. Anyone of you who helps me and my crew gets a free ride out of here."

And with that the captain rose and strode to the door.



Natsumi woke with a start. What happened to her? She was in that garden, she turned round, there was that thing, that horrible thing. She must have passed out she thought. She tried to make sense of her surroundings. She was in a cave. It was generally dark but with some light coming from a limited number of dim wall lights. Her arms hurt. Of course they hurt, she was hanging by them. She looked up and saw we wrists were chained to a pipe high above, here feet dangling a foot off the ground.

Suddenly there was a sound. Some sort of wet, throaty laugh. Natsumi thought if she ever heard the devil laugh, she was sure it would sound like that. A hulking figure moved from a dark corner towards here. A twisted smile across its deformed face.

A shrill scream echo'd through the upper caves.

...... to be continued.......

No comments:

Post a Comment