Explorers of the Universe
Chapter 12: Meeting Old and New Faces; Night of the Ishimura pt.2
The lounge deck was loaded with a tv, couches, chairs, and desks, a gaming system, and a few other assorted things for those who needed to cut loose as well as to work out. But now… it looked like a warzone or a holocaust aftermath. Bloodstains were on the walls, and most of the equipment was trashed. A huge brawl had gone through there, and the place was abandoned, or rather quarantined, as a holographic sign was flashing up at the rim of the ceiling and wall, sliding around the roof, as it did so. There was no sign of anyone in the room much even alive as anyone thought.
One of the roof grates from the ventilation on the roof pipes fell down, as it was an indication that someone was alive and roaming around. At that moment, someone dropped from the hole in the ventilation, and landed on the ground safely.
She was a young Latin Hispanic girl of sixteen years of age, with light tan skin, flowing dark brown hair that went down her midback with bounce, had a green bandana in her hair that allowed one curl bang to stick out like an antennae, and two curled bangs that stuck at her cheeks. Her body was slender but carried under the skin tight muscles that didn't bulge or get noticed, not if she flexed them, a small beauty mark under her right eye, and brown eyes. She was wearing a white sleeveless t-shirt with a blue jump suit with the top zipped down and tied around her waist, with brown boots, and brown work gloves. Her name was Misty Vascuez, one of the younger workers in the Mechanics/Engineering Division of the Ishimura.
She was currently looking around, scrapping for spare parts from dropped palm coms, and toys that a few kids had left around. She stuffed her parts in a brown satchel around her shoulder. She then worked her way to one of the bigger game consoles, opening the back to take any necessary parts.
"Ay dos mios, am I glad this thing's got spare parts," she spoke with a Spanish accent. "Anywhere else, I would've been shit out of luck. Damn the captain for putting up this damn quarantine."
Suddenly, the sounds of scratching and gluttorial growls were heard, as she crashed down on the floor, avoiding eye contact, even with the shut windows. The milky white windows still showcased what appeared to be distorted figures crawling down the hallway, with claws high up in the air, as they lurched forward. Misty made her way crawling on the floor back to the ventilation shaft, and quickly climbed back in. However, the sounds of clanging didn't go unnoticed by at least the last lurcher who spun around, looking in the direction to where the shaft was.
In the Shaft
Misty currently made her way through a ventilation shaft that would lead her to the main deck where her father should have been. She had gotten a radio signal from him saying he would be back on the Ishimura along with her mother. However, the voice sound frantic, as if he had been scared or had seen something that rattled him. Though it didn't matter, as she learned that the shuttle carrying them both had crashed in the main port shaft on the main port deck. She was crawling through the shaft as quickly but as quietly as she could to avoid detection by any of whatever had infested the ship that started a week ago. So far, Captain Mathias had ordered a main quarantine that locked up the ship, but kept them dead in orbit.
She had a tired expression on her face having not eaten all day and could slowly feel the fatigue in her body from only getting two hours of sleep while avoiding the creatures. 'I'm at the half way point now. I just have to get through the main hallway, past the damn auditorium briefing room, and I'll be there,' she thought to herself. 'I just have to hope the crew there hasn't been chowed down yet, or worse.'
She was sweating from a mix of fear; she refused to admit to herself and from the dry air in the shaft. The smell of dead flesh flowed into her nose every now and then making her slightly cringe from the terrible smell and knowing where it was coming from. 'Damn it! All this madness from some oversized rock,' she thought to herself as the anger flowed through her from all the friends and crew mates she had lost for this stupid job.
Just as she made another turn in the shaft, she suddenly stopped herself when she heard footsteps below her. She held her gun tightly and ready but stayed still to avoid being discovered. She looked down through the shaft below her face and sees the origin of the footsteps, a Slasher was moving through the hall looking for more humans to kill, like a predator on the hunt for prey.
Misty paled at this, as she gulped, 'Oh shit! Just what I need!' She stayed still and slowed her breathing down in the hopes that the creature, or Slasher as anyone would probably call it, would leave despite the great temptation to drop down and kill it for what it did to her crewmates. She held it in as best as she could, until finally the Slasher left the hall way. 'Bout time that mother-'
But suddenly, two claws shot up in front of her, causing her to scream in surprise. Suddenly, the ventilation was pulled down, causing Misty to fall down on the floor, as she flipped over onto her back, as she was in fornt of two Slashers that spotted her, and the first was slouching its way to her.
She scrambled back, doing her best to get away, as she reached for her gun, but paled as she saw the gun far from the second one. She looked up, as the Slasher came close to her, bringing its claws up to impale her. A single tear dripped down her eye, as the fear had gotten to her, as she cried out, "SOMEONE HELP ME, PLEASE!"
Misty and the first Slasher had heard the cries of another slasher, as they looked behind, and saw that the second Slasher had been impaled on what appeared to be a miner-class plasma cutter… deep in its chest. It spasmed, as the blade went up, slicing its torso and head in half vertically, as it staggered back, but then suddenly, the blade horizontally cut it in the mid-section, showing that someone wearing an orange and black SIG suit with the helmet on, had slayed the beast.
The remaining Slasher jump-charged at him, but the individual was quicker, as he used his rocket boots to slide on the floor, slashing at the legs, cutting them off. The Slasher fell down on the floor, stomach first, but used its blade arms and secondary claw arms as quadruped legs, turning around, but not in time. The individual brought down the plasma cutter down on its head, piercing it through the floor, and twisting at it, until the head was nothing more but goo and bone half-burnt.
Misty got back up, albeit on shaky legs, as she looked up at her last-minute savior. She wobbled a little, getting her strength back little by little, as she sighed, "Thanks for the hand there-" but as he turned around and the helmet retracted, she became quite shocked to find that her savior was none other than Isaac Shepard. Apparently, the two had history back on Earth… as her bullying him verbally rather than physically.
"Sheepy!? What the hell is a wimp like you doing in this hell hole," she questioned, easily shocked but not amused at the fact that she got saved by him. "And where-" But she stopped, as she saw Isaac's plasma cutter that he used to slice through the Slashers with ease, and pointed at it, "The hell did you get that?!"
Isaac sighed, as his spoke up, his voice clearly having sarcasm due to his history with Misty, "Nice to see you too Misty. I'm here because-" But they both stopped, as they heard footsteps and the growl of more Slashers coming from the far end of the hall, and quickly turned back to her, "How about we talk about this somewhere that isn't filled with Xenocromorphs?!"
Misty looked at Isaac with a glare. She hated the idea of agreeing with who she saw as a wimp but knew he had a point. "Fine," she pressed her code into a console by a door next to them, "Through here, this will take us somewhere where you can explain what the hell a Xenocromorph is!" She ran in as Isaac tried to keep up while being ready to use his plasma cutter.
Back aboard the lifeboat shuttle, the others were awaiting the door to unlock, as they all sat at their stations. But none was worried enough for Isaac than Kori, as she fidgeted at her seat, while only Sphere noticed. Though everyone else seemed to just wait on standby or just waited patiently.
Then, Isaac spoke on the radio frequency, "Okay, the door is unlocked. I just need directions to where-"
"Attention unknown ship, you are surrounded," a grown feminine voice spoke out. The vid screen turned on, as the teens spotted who was awaiting them outside.
It was a team of six security officers assigned to the Ishimura itself. The leader was a twenty-nine Brazilian woman with olive tanned skin, tall and slender figure, short cut red hair combed to the left and topaz eyes. She was wearing a white turtleneck sleeveless shirt with light and dark brown pants with brown knee armor, black boots, and wore a dark brown jacket with light brown armor on her shoulders and forearm cuffs but more armor plating on her right arm, with brown gloves, and a SIG module hooked to the back. Another on her right was a Caucasian blonde man with a medium build with blue eyes, and wore the same ensemble only with no additional armor on his right arm. On his right was a scrawny twenty something Caucasian man with the same uniform but with the jacket zipped up, a gray hood covering his red hair, a security cap on top, and green eyes. To the woman's left was another woman of Asian descent, but with her hair almost shaved off with a blue pony tail, bangs on her ears, a small tuff of it still on the right side of her head, with blue eyes and blue lipstick, and had no jacket like the others but her left arm was armored with a dark and light armor sleeve that went from shoulder to hand. Behind them was a big brawler of an African American male with a dark and light armored T-shirt section who didn't look all that happy. And finally, a Hispanic twenty-something male of a small build and suited up like the redheaded guy though with no cap or hood. And they all had pistols at the ready to aim and fire.
The redheaded Brazilian woman spoke out, "Step out of your ship, put your hands where we can see them, and stand down or we will shoot!"
deciding not to start a fight, the teens silently agreed to speak before anything happened. Rei used the speakers, as she responded, "Wait. We can explain-"
The sound of a bullet skimming the hull halted any negotiations, as the Brazilian woman spoke up again, this time, a bit testy, "Last chance! Step out of your craft, put your hands where we can see them, or we will shoot you all!"
Jeff arched an eyebrow as it became apparent that the voice was familiar only to him, as he thought, 'I know that voice...'
"So much for them being understanding," Sphere responded, as he looked to Kori, who was just as confused on what to do.
"What should we do," Kori asked, not looking forward to any confrontations. "They do not seem to be willing to listen to us as we hoped they would."
Then Dru spoke up, as he looked at Kori, "They may not take well to you and I. If the crew of the Ishimura have already encountered the same hostile forces of the planet, they may consider us a threat as well."
Gwen sighed, not liking the situation, but they had to do something, "We have to do what they say, but we all have to be careful with our words. After all, we did barge in." She looked over to Kori, Sphere, and Dru, "You two stay close to Jeff and I. Sphere… go find Isaac."
"Understood," Sphere replied, as he flew towards the wall, and flew through it leaving a blue energy sphere to dissipate as he phased through the wall.
Outside the Pod
Every one of the security force was on standby, awaiting anything funny. Nobody knew or saw the white sphere flying away and phasing through the next wall.
The blue-haired Asian girl shook her head, "I don't like it. They should have been out by now."
the red-headed rookie half-smirked at her, "What's the matter, Shen? Hoping for some guys on the ship for tonight?"
The Brazilian woman spoke up, "Knock it off Dobbs. All right, let's-"
The door of the life raft opened up; the security team consisting of the Brazilian, Dobbs, and Shen pointed their guns at the door. But before any triggers were pulled, Gwen, Rei, Kori, and Dru walked out, with Kori and Dru having their hands up, showing they weren't a threat.
"It's all right, there's no need for violence," Gwen spoke up, holding her hands as she tried to reason with them. "Here we are as you instructed. We apologize for the abrupt landing, but the situation called for it."
Dobbs sighed, as he grunted, "They're just a bunch of teenagers."
"Famous last words in some cases," She poked out, as she still retained holding her gun at them, even as Jeff walked behind the others.
The Brazilian woman holstered her gun, as she walked towards them, and stopped five feet from them, "Who are you and what are you doing in this sector? It's supposed to be forbidden."
It' was Rei's turn to spe"We were sent here by the Wayward Industries. I am Rei 8 of the Falcon ship owned by Wayward Industries."
"Just what we need, a toaster oven playing space captain or so she says," Dobbs huffed out.
"She's telling the truth, Dobbs," the Brazilian woman stated, earning a shocked look on his face. "Rei 8 is the personal android and assistant of Peter Wayward: your employer."
"Former employer. He's dead," Gwen flat out said, earning surprised gazes at her. "He was killed while on the same mission we were on."
The security officers don't respond as they still don't fully trust them, as Shen shot out, "What mission was that exactly? The Ishimura is the only ship that's supposed to be stationed out here."
Gwen and the others were surprised to hear all that, as she thought, 'They didn't know either? What else has Wayward been hiding from us?'
But before arguments went out, Rei spoke out, "We were on a special mission on behalf of the company to investigate the ruins in sector seven of the Aegis 7. The ruins were connected to the research done by Johnathan and Martha Shepard aboard the ship, Prometheus, on the subjects of interest they called the Creators. Unfortunately, we were confronted by an aggressive alien life form and lost most of our crew in the process, including the late Mr. Wayward."
They seemed to let it all sink in, but Dobbs stated, "I don't buy it. This sounds like a load of crap to me."
Shen then looked to the Brazilian and asked, tilting her head to her, "What do you think Vincent?"
Vincent sighed, as she looked to her team, "For the moment, I agree with Dobbs. But Wayward never goes anywhere without his assistant. If he's not on the ship, than he probably is dead." She then looked back at the teens, as she interrogated, "Why did you board the ship when you were told not to and where's the Falcon?"
"The Falcon was damaged in the attack of aggressive alien organisms preventing us from contacting the Ishimura from the planet," Gwen explained, doing her best to try and make it sound plausible while not crazy at the same time. She knew that everything they experienced was too crazy to believe, but no lying would go well. "We used the life raft to fly to the Ishimura in the hopes of making contact with the crew to request assistance with repairs."
Then DRU stepped in, as he explained, "Unfortunately the life raft became dangerously low on fuel when we reached your ship. We also attempted to make contact but we only received static from your crew's response. When we saw the other ship enter the ship's runway, we decided to fly in, and explain our situation inside. We didn't mean to make it seem we were ignoring your response and we mean no harm."
Then Shen walked up to the nanomorph droid, aiming her gun under his chin, as she was dangerously close to popping a cap in his head, "How do we know you and the one next to you are the aggressive alien life forms that attacked you? After all, you all did break in by overriding the runway doors!"
Hobbs then pointed out, "Not to mention they could have been the ones that attacked our base on the planet."
it was then that Gwen stepped up and defended her friends, "I can assure you that Kori and DRU are not a threat. If anything, they're victims of the aggressive alien attacks as much as our crew was."
"I also apologize for the crashing of our ship." Kori apologized, but looked rather frantic, "But we must find Isaac to ensure he is safe."
Vincent arched an eyebrow, but seemed to ease down a bit, as she stated, "If this Isaac is the one who opened the doorway, he won't be far. We'll find him as we take you to quarantine on the captain's orders."
But just as soon as they were going to leave, Gwen stopped, as she tried to convince them to bring them with them. "Wait! You said you were attacked as well. You'll need our help to fight against the Xenocromorphs that are attacking you."
Hobbs didn't buy it one bit, as he shot out, "Now I know for sure they're all lying if they need to make up some make up alien!"
Vincent, on the other hand, was deep in thought on this, 'I still don't know about this... They did break in like Shen mentioned, but if they are low on fuel, they would've ended up drifting in space with no hope what so ever. Not to mention that ship did have a real Wayward authorization code that checked out. Not to mention we've only been in this sector of the planet while they've been on the other side of it. Which means they couldn't been the ones behind the attack at our base.' She then looked to the big guy, asking, "How's it looking over there, Pendleton?"
Pendleton was currently overlooking the ship, until he finally replied, "The ship's in bad condition, Vincent. We're trying to open the doors but they're malfunctioning."
Vincent then looked back to the others, but then asked, "Let's say we believe all this, who was the acting captain at the time of these events?"
"Marek," Jeff replied, as he walked over to her. "It was Captain Marek. Hey Vincent, I thought that was you on the speaker."
"Carter," Vincent questioned, instantly recognizing the boy. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"On the same mission they were on with Marek," Jeff replied, and then pointed to Kori and DRU. "And don't worry about these two. They're only dangerous when provoked…" and then looked to Hobbs. "Or when someone tries to shoot them."
"You know this guy Vincent," Shen asked.
Vincent nodded, "Yeah. He's the son of Marek. A guy I went through basic training with." She then turned back to Jeff, as she went on, "If you're here, then..."
Jeff hung his head down in sadness, as he spoke up, "I'm sorry, he gave his life saving all of us. Saving Earth…"
Vincent paled at that, as she lowered her head down, "Ese hijo de un..." She sighed heavily, looking back up at the boy, who looked back at her, "He always said he wanted to go out like a hero."
"Vincent! We finally have the door open," Hanson called out.
Vincent walked up to the ship, while Dobbs and Shen continued to point their guns at the teens.
Vincent then asked, "Is there anyone in there?"
Hanson looked to her and replied, "As far as we can tell, no. We just managed to force the door to open."
"I don't like this," Vincent whispered, as her thoughts spoke louder. 'Ever since the Relic was found, things went to hell at the base. If it was caused by this alien lifeform they are talking about..' She then made up her mind, as she walked back down to the teens, and ordered out, "All right, Dobbs, Shen, you're with me along with Jeff, and..." She looked to DRU, not knowing his name but pointed to him to get an answer, to which he replied.
"DRU," he replied. "Named after three basic letters I found when I was first… 'born'."
"Thanks. DRU as well," she replied, and looked to the others. "We're going to check the ship for survivors."
Shen arched an eyebrow, "Vincent, are you sure? This could be a trap."
Dobbs then agreed to it, as he pointed to DRU and Kori, "Shen's got a point, as much as I hate to admit it. This could be what they're waiting for."
Vincent then hardened her resolve on this, "If there is some kind of alien behind what happened on the base, then I'll need some extra help looking into the ship. Hanson, Ramirez, and Pendleton, keep the others where they are and don't open fire unless they become a threat until we get back."
Hanson, Ramirez, and Pendleton all responded, "Understood."
before they went off, Gwen walked up to Jeff and hugged him, not wanting to let him go, "Jeff, be careful in there."
He returned the hug, as he replied, "Don't worry, babe…" and then cupped her chin, just to lean in and give her a kiss, as he pulled back smiling, "We've gotten this far. No problems yet."
Jeff and DRU walked forward slowly and join Vincent's group as they entered the ship. As they did, proper procedures to look through were made.
Vincent responded, "Clear right."
"Clear left," Dobbs stated.
As they entered through, Shen looked in, using her light, but gasped at what she saw, "Shèngjié de mǔqīn..." Once they got a clear view, they all saw what she had seen. The inside was a mess, as the walls were covered in blood stains. It was almost as if a wild animal had broken through.
Dobbs ran his fingertips on the wall, making sure what he was seeing wasn't fake, "There's a hell of a lot of blood, but no bodies."
Shen shrugged, regaining some composure, "Sounds like one of your parties."
Dobbs arched an eyebrow at that, as he countered, "Or your sex life."
"Cut the chatter, people," Vincent said, breaking up the fight. "This thing didn't crash itself."
Jeff looked around with his rifle light, as he replied, "Whoever was piloting the ship, they aren't here anymore."
Dobbs quirked, "Maybe your alien boogie man took them."
Jeff looked at him with disdain, as he shot back, "Screw you, Rookie."
DRU looked around, as he hypothesized, "I think that whatever happened or what did this might still be around. Obviously getting more fresh meat."
As they scaled the place, Vincent saw a couple of blood trails but only bare foot ones. Not tracks made by boots. "Blood trails... Someone got off this shuttle..."
Dobbs then looked at DRU, pointing his gun at them, "I knew they were lying! I bet they stowed away and-" but as Dobbs accused them, the body of the pilot was heard violently changing. They all looked to see blood spurting out from the driver's seat as debris was flung from towards the group sending them to the ground. Vincent got up just in time to see the Xenocromorph stand up in full view; its scythe arms rose up, it roaring out a birth or battle cry, and then charged right at her.
Vincent reached for her gun that flew out of her hand from the crash, but just as the monster was about to reach her, a silver green tentacle wrapped around her waist, pulling her towards the owner of it: DRU. Then Xenecromorph charged at him, but DRU lifted his right arm, which stretch-shot right at the beast, breaking up in four parts and the tips forming into pendulum blades, severing both arms, torso, and head of the alien monster. The area to where the freshly born Xenecromorph was sprayed over by what remained in the creature's body, until it fell down, flat on its back and dead. Everyone got up to see the now dead alien on the floor.
Dobbs blinked, not knowing what to believe on this, as he stuttered, "Is that... the pilot."
"It was the pilot. Now it's a Xenocromorph," Jeff explained. He then looked to DRU, as he gave him a thumbs up on a job well done, "Nice one there, DRU."
DRU nodded, as he helped Vincent back on her feet, "You okay, Vincent?"
Vincent nodded, "Yeah, thanks for the save there."
Dru nodded, as Shen came to terms on what was going on now, "Okay... I'm a believer now."
Outside the Ship
They all left the ship as they rejoined the others by the life raft, as Pendleton asked, "What happened? We heard roaring and sounded like something got thrown into a blender."
Shen pointed back at the ship, as she was the first to explain, "We had a run in with one of the teenagers' aliens. DRU here killed it though."
Hanson looked to the others, as he asked, "Seriously?"
Dobbs nodded, "Yep. That Xeno- whatever was like out of an old zombie game back home only it was on steroids and there's another one running loose on the ship!"
Everyone didn't take that news to the bright side, as Ramirez groaned, "Great, now what?"
"We're moving out and the teenagers are coming with us," Vincent ordered.
Hanson then reminded, "But the captain wants them quarantined."
"Right now, our main priority is finding the one that got away, killing it, and making sure there aren't anymore," Vincent explained, as she pointed to the teens. "Taking the teens to quarantine can wait until we find their missing crew mate and kill the other Xenocromorphs." She then looked at the teens, as she asked the obvious, "We're going to need your help with finding that thing. Will you help us?"
Jeff half-smirked, as he shouldered his rifle, "Come on, Vincent, you already know the answer."
Gwen nodded, "Indeed, you'll need our help with it."
Kori then stated, "I am also worried about Isaac. He is alone and needs our help." She then looked determined, as she proclaimed, "And I too am ready to begin kicking the butt."
"All right team. Let's move out!"
Next Chapter: Meeting Old and New Faces; Night of the Ishimura pt. 3