Chapter Two: Violet Death
Smoke was the only thing Rivers could see as he rushed down the corridor along with a few other soldiers, trying to hear what the plan was from the one in front who was yelling, but her words were drowned out by all the alarms going off. All the Private could tell was that the bunker had suddenly come under attack, forcing him and everyone else out of bed to fight off… whatever it was. Quickly grabbing his helmet and body armor, Rivers had still been half asleep while putting them on, shaking off the fatigue while readying his heavy rifle and walking right into the wall… hopefully no one saw that.
Everything had gone so well after getting the images of the new Terminator model; everyone making it back to base without being detected by the machines, and transmitting their report to HQ along with all the pictures… so, great, mission accomplished, right? After that, it was the usual meal of canned something or other, he wasn't sure what it was, not that it mattered when a man was hungry, and then it was right to bed, and by bed he meant a torn blanket on the floor with an extra shirt rolled up for a pillow. He should have known that something would go wrong, he was just hoping that it wasn't anything so extreme.
There had been incidents of alerts like this before, as some of the old timers explained when Rivers arrived, when a Spider would wander into the base through an unsecured duct that they didn't know about, or even a Drone following an unwary soldier right to the front door, but those had been isolated, and quickly resolved. This, on the other hand, was taking a lot longer, and there was even more smoke, along with some fire as they headed toward the commotion. Some of the alarm speakers must have been damaged, because the sound was coming from behind them now, but that noise was being replaced by screams and gunfire, and there was… was that plasma gunfire?
More areas were on fire now, creating even more smoke as wounded civilians ran past them farther into the bunker, and that was when the Private saw the first body. It was a soldier, lying on his back in the middle of the corridor with a look of shock on his face, and a large burn mark across his torso. A plasma wound… was it possible that some of those new Terminator models had stormed the base? Was that what all the newly built T-800's were for? Attacking Resistance bases? But none of the teams had been followed back, and none of the guards had spotted any machine activity around the bunker for at least as long as Rivers had been there, so how had they been discovered?
Scenario's such as a Terminator attack had been covered during training, although those were always against T-600's with conventional weapons, so what was it going to be like to fight against 800's with plasma? The weapons fire and screams of battle got louder as they approached, and the Private was building an image of his mind of what to expect; a dozen shiny endoskeletons lighting up the area with bright red plasma while the Resistance valiantly fought back with heavy weapons and the one or two plasma rifles that they possessed… however, the reality of the situation was far different.
Rivers along with five other Resistance soldiers rounded the corner to finally join the battle, and then there was a flash of violet light just as something started slamming into the men around him. It took the Private a second to realize that the violet colored light was plasma, and if he had been toward the front of the group instead of bringing up the rear, it would have been his own chest that was exploding as the violet energy blew apart his body armor, but instead he was knocked backwards when one of the others fell into him. This finally allowed Rivers to see the source of the attack, and it wasn't a dozen endoskeletons.
Even though the smoke and destroyed lights concealed it, the Private could see a single pair of red glowing eyes against the darkness, clashing with the flashes of violet light… wait a second, there was only one? It had to be one of those new models, but how could it have gotten this far into the base if there was only one of them? He tried to get a better look, but was unable to when the thing started firing its big plasma canon again… Rivers had never seen such a weapon, not carried by a ground unit, and… and why was the plasma a different color?
Taking cover around the corner as the violet rounds slammed into the concrete, the Private stuck his heavy rifle back around and started blindly firing, but this did no good since he either missed completely, or the thing wasn't bothered by it. One of the next plasma shots almost took his hand off, forcing Rivers to pull his weapon back, but it wasn't until he was in the middle of reloading that the Private realized he wasn't hearing any more gunfire. Was that it? Had they won? Even with the crackling fires and distant alarms still going off, suddenly Pacific Division's bunker seemed deathly quiet… no gunfire, no screams, just an odd thumping sound… a rhythmic thumping sound that was getting closer.
"Oh, shit!" Rivers exclaimed as he dove for cover, getting around the next corner just as the machine came out of the room. "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!"
Scrambling to get some distance between himself and the Terminator, the Private looked back just long enough to see its horrible glowing red eyes in the darkness, before skidding to a stop and pushing through another door. The area behind him glowed as more violet plasma erupted from the machine's weapon, slamming into the walls and doorway, before the machine stopped shooting in order to pursue him again. Wait a second, where the hell was everyone? Where were the rest of the soldiers? Forced to head back deeper into the bunker, Rivers figured that he would run into someone to back him up… right?
"This is Private Rivers, requesting immediate backup!" He exclaimed into the radio, rounding another corner and running down the hall. "Repeat, this is Private Rivers, I'm being pursued by a new model Terminator! I need help at the west section of the bunker right the hell now!"
"I read you, Private Rivers." A calm voice replied, filling him with hope as he hid behind a door inside a supply room. "I am currently searching for you; come out into the open, and this will all be over."
Come out into the open, he wondered? That new Terminator was out in the hallway, so why would anyone ask him to come out? There was no more time for wondering about that as the machine's heavy footsteps got right up to the doorway, and the Private quickly turned his radio off, not wanting his position to be given away if the others tried to contact him again. Now Rivers held his breath, feeling a knot form in his stomach as the machine took a single loud step into the storeroom, leading with the barrel of its weapon, which was still faintly glowing violet. The Terminator's glowing eyes dimly illuminated the interior of the room, where it looked back and forth, before it brought something up to its mouth.
"Private Rivers, I am still searching for you." The machine said into a Resistance radio. "Come out into the open, and this will all be over."
They can talk?! Since when the fuck could the machines talk, the Private wondered, putting his hand over his mouth to keep his rapid, frightened breathing from being heard by the machine on the other side of the door. Two more times it used the radio to try and get him to reveal himself, making Rivers thankful that he had turned his off, but then there was a commotion off in the distance. A lot of the alarms had died down, making it easier to hear quickly approaching footsteps, along with the loud voices of someone shouting orders for how to proceed into the next room.
"Rivers, this is Sergeant Evans, we're near your location." A new voice said over the machine's radio. "What is the status of the target? Can you see it?"
"This is Private Rivers; thank God you found me, Sergeant." The machine replied in Rivers' own voice, making him almost pass out when he heard… himself. "The… clanker is down; I defeated it by… being a tough guy. Please help me, Sergeant, I am wounded."
He hoped that somehow Sergeant Evans would realize that it wasn't him, but this hope was dashed when the voice on the radio acknowledged, and even congratulating him for his victory over the clanker. Rivers wanted to warn them as the Terminator stepped out of the storeroom to set up its ambush, but if he did then the machine would find him… and if he didn't, then his comrades would be ripped to shreds by that plasma canon. The soldiers were getting closer now, and the machine was out in the hallway, with its back to the Private… and he did still have his heavy rifle.
Waiting until it was starting to aim at them, Rivers came out form behind the door, got in the hallway right behind the Terminator, and started shooting at the same time that it did. At this range the heavy caliber bullets would have ripped right through the armor of a T-600, and the Private unloaded his entire magazine right into its back without missing a single shot. However, the machine was still shooting the whole time, managing to hit all of the Resistance soldiers, although missing a lot more than usual as it stumbled forward, but now Rivers' rifle was empty… and the machine was still on its feet.
Slowly it turned around to face him, looking in the smoke and darkness like a large shadow with glowing red eyes as it aimed the plasma canon and pressed the trigger to the sound of… click. The Private nearly wet himself when he saw its shadowy hand press that button, but now both him and the glowing red eyes looked down at the weapon as if the machine were just as surprised for it to be empty as he was. Suddenly it let go of the weapon with one hand, and shoved Rivers backwards with enough force to make the Private's feet leave the floor as he was thrown backwards down the hallway. He slid to a rough stop against the far wall, coughing and groaning in pain, while the Terminator walked toward him… casually dropping the old plasma cartridge onto the floor before inserting a new one into its weapon.
His own weapon had flown form his grasp, not that he had any more bullets for it anyway, so all Rivers could do was try to get up and get away before it finished reloading. That push had completely knocked the wind out of him, though, and the Private was still struggling to get up farther than his knees, when the machine took aim again. More plasma fire followed, but this time it was both red and coming from the opposite direction, slamming hard into it's shadow covered chest a dozen times before it fell down.
"Rivers, get up!" Commander Ramirez yelled, grabbing him by back of the collar. "Come on, we gotta…
Rivers was just getting up, when he was forced to dive for cover again as the recovered machine returned fire. Thankfully, the Private's stumbling fall took him behind the next corner out of the way, but the Commander cried out in agony as he was slammed backwards into the wall… a large plasma burn having shattered his body armor as he sunk to the floor. Rivers tried to grab him, but Ramirez shoved him back, crying out again as he raised his rifle and shot the machine several more times.
"Rivers, get out… get out of here!" He struggled to say as blood ran from his mouth. "Run… south… South Division! Baron… tell Baron what… what happened! Tell…
There might have been more to those orders, but then Ramirez was able to fire two more shots, before him and the entire wall behind him were decimated by violet plasma fire. The Private had no more weapons, everyone was dead, and so was the Commander… so he ran. He ran without looking back, heading toward the bunker's exit while that Terminator was no doubt following, and hopefully he could lose it once he reached the surface.