Deep within the Deimos research complex the demonic infestation was spreading at a rapid pace, the portal laboratory was somehow even more encased with demonic growth. The Spider-Mastermind was standing along the ramp and communicating through the portal with the Icon of Sin, making preparations for the invasion of Earth. The giant Icon loomed on the other side of the gate, speaking in growling tones. Their conference is interrupted by an alert notification on a scientific computer tablet the Spider-mind was carrying, the demon screeches and rages. It couldn't believe that Marine had made his way back here. It angrily screeches a demonic phrase to the Icon and loudly stomped its way back to the Engineering Bay nearby.
The demon stomps through a formerly sealed door and enters the demonified workshop. A production line of cybernetic implantation had been setup, demon using surgical tools assist with the augmentation of Arachnotron and Revenant. The Spider-mind moves to the main computer console and begins reviewing surveillance feeds, looking for the Marine. He only catches a glimpse before the AI system managed to lock out his access.
"Access denied, unauthorized user" Luna says.
The Spider-mind's scream reverberates through the workshop, it soon goes back to its repeated attempts to re-code the system, desperately trying to bypass Luna's commands.
The Marine moves through the entrance corridor, passing a security office jammed with demonic growth that branches through the halls.
"I must caution you, the facility is experiencing emergency conditions due to an extra-terrestrial infestation" Luna explains.
"I can tell" he replies, coming to a sealed door.
"Allow me to bypass the security for you" Luna offers.
The sealed door slides open, revealing the reception area. There was a large circular desk with waiting benches set around it. The badly mauled corpse of the corporate receptionist lays still on the floor behind the desk, their handgun and spend shell casings resting nearby. The sound of something moving through the ceiling compartments clattered distantly. There were a pair of doors leading deeper into the facility. He reads a station map and finds a path to the research complex. An Imp demon suddenly crashes through the ceiling, dragging down a tangle of cables in the process. The Imp pounces before he could draw his rifle, he carries out a lethal hand-to-hand move he picked up from military training with devastating effect. He looks down upon the demon which was now crippled from several broken bones.
He feels a rush as he realizes how quickly and easily he carried out the attack.
"Very impressive" Luna comments.
He didn't know how this was possible, but it brought a boost of confidence. He then realized that he had no idea how long it was since he rested. He checks his armour's data records and finds that he's been awake for at least eighty-nine hours, which sent his mind spinning but didn't seem to bother him at all. He steps to the door leading to the Research Complex, but it wouldn't move, he found that the manual release was jammed.
"My sensors indicate that this barrier is being obstructed from the other side by an unknown mass" Luna explains.
"I need to reach Echo labs" the Marine says.
"That is a highly secure laboratory, however given the current emergency and the number of unauthorized actors already in that sector, I will grant you authorization" Luna explains.
"Thanks, Luna" the Marine replies.
"There is an alternative path from the Containment Area that will then bring you to the Refinery. The refinery is under a condition alert, but there is an elevated path which should be safe to cross" Luna explains.
He takes the corridor leading to the Containment Area, barely visible shadowed creatures could be seen toward the far end of the hall. He comes to the sealed double doors of the Containment Area and Luna opens the barrier for the Marine. A cylinder on the door rotates, locking clamps release and the doors retract into the walls, revealing a ramped loading area trimmed with yellow safety bars, an overhead crane was above. He walks up the ramp and into the spacious warehouse, a pair of forklifts were parked nearby. To the right, another section was barred off for holding shipping vessels, a pair of vehicles were parked next to the massive bay door. The dry rasps of former humans could be heard beyond the rows of bulky storage crates. He strays between the rows and notices a few containers had been smashed open, their contents removed. Scrutinizing the manifest along the side of the box reveals they were previously holding chainsaws with fourteen inch blades.
The Marine strays further between the crates, he soon comes upon a section cleared of boxes, another gore nest stood in the center, surrounded by former human colonists bowing before the demonic growth. The nest was much smaller than the one he encountered on Hell's surface, it was composed of killed colonist remains reformed into a demonic creation, gasping human heads were morphed along the surface. The nest had a thick spiked crescent above a base of growth branching through the area. Above the crescent of the gore nest, a dazzling demonic portal courses with hell energy. The growth heaves, as if breathing, a round yellow pimple below the crescent pulses with movement.
The zombies surrounding the nest get to their feet and shamble nearer, the demonic possession had taken on an advanced stage. All signs of their humanity was replaced with striking demonic features, their uniforms had woven under their bulging tumours.
"A serious complication I have been facing is the correspondence I receive from the facility's personnel, Luna comments, I can detect them moving through the station, but they do not communicate coherently and are not attending to their assigned duties"
"I can see why" he replies.
"Perhaps you can reason with them?" Luna suggests as the former humans stalk closer.
"They can't be helped" the Marine explains, drawing his side-arm.
"No, stop!" cries Luna.
Shots ring through the spacious area as he unloads on the zombies just before they could attack, they sprawled bleeding out on the floor next to the gore nest. The branches of growth immediately crawl toward the puddles of blood around and began soaking it up as the nest gurgles contently from within. The Marine watched unfazed, suddenly noting that nothing from this realm served to surprise or upset him anymore.
He holsters his pistol as the Containment Area fell silent, except for the growls and moans of the distant demonic activity.
"I had placed a lot of trust in you. This is a serious violation of corporate code of aeronomic regulations section one-one-one, knowingly and wilful intent to cause harm resulting in death of any human being" Luna dictates in a much colder voice.
"What?! Luna, they're zombies!" the Marine explains.
"That is an irrational justification, they need medical attention" Luna replies.
The Marine ignores the AI and examines the nest, seeing the movement of the beating heart beneath the bloated pimple. Feeling a sense of duty to destroy the nest, he bursts the pustule and rips out the organ, spilling a stream of slimy fluid onto the storeroom floor. A chorus of screeching and wailing erupts from the nest, the weaved fibre tissue sways and contracts as clouds converged over the portal. The spikes along the crescent of flesh spasms back and forth. The deformed faces along the crescent loudly hurl streams of slime from their mouths. The excess portal energy that had been coursing through the nest causes the creature to lose stability and it bursts from within, sending bloody tissue sailing in all directions as the churning portal collapses with a loud pang.
From within the Engineering Bay, the Spider Mastermind is alerted to the destroyed nest, it knew the Marine must be in the Containment Area, so he sends the command through the system for demons to deploy to the area, only to find Luna blocking those controls, too.
"Unauthorized user detected" Luna announces.
Enraged, the Spider-Mastermind turns and begins smashing a worktable, things were going smoothly before the Artificial Intelligence woke up and began taking back control.
A haunting demonic howl rings out, columns of hell energy materialize around the splattered nest, he overhears the distant stammering of former humans. A swarm of hissing Cacodemon materialize from the blazing light. The repulsive, misshapen creatures were round blobs with no appendages. The demon had segments of thick spiked crust along their facing side, a single green eye and a massive winding mouth rimmed with sharp fangs. With their appearance came a negative vibe in the air and a nauseating smell, the invading stench was comparable to multiple dumpsters of garbage, or a sewage spill. A Cacodemon parts its fangs, revealing many rows more inside as streams of foamy acidic saliva splats to the floor.
The Marine was immediately disgusted and was already shooting plasma, the Cacodemon swoop in various directions. They grotesquely built up gobs of flem and saliva, then hucked the blobs at a surprising speed, one blob impacts the alloy wall, another lands beside the Marine as he had moved from its path, another spit blob spattered against a volley of plasma. The acidic spit begins eating through the floor and wall, wisps of smoke rise from the bubbling wads. The Marine found himself being quickly surrounded from all sides, the Cacodemon silently drifted into range, extending their jaws and releasing noxious fumes. He narrowly ducks under a set of snapping jaws, more of the repulsive creatures were meters away. He punches a demon in its upper jaw, sending it spinning, he turns around and fires on another wad of acidic spit closing in, he pivots to manoeuvre again as more gobs splat against the floor beside him.
He was suddenly standing right in front of a Caco's open jaws, the rifle releases waves of built-up heat radiation in a sudden blast, directly into the gaping mouth, the demon is roasted from inside as the acidic secretions are suddenly ignited. He sees more demons closing less than a couple meters away, bearing their sharp teeth. He grips the edge of a cargo crate and climbs on top, then bounding along the row of containers, gaining much needed distance between himself and the Cacodemon. Toxic blobs of saliva splat upon the crates as he hurdles along the rows, he turns with his RPG levelled and carefully fires one rocket at a time on approaching demons. He notices another drifting up from behind, he jumps back onto the Caco from above while still firing, the Caco drops and is crushed between the Marine's weight and the hard floor, the green eye is thrown from the socket and blue blood and puss spills from its flattened carcass as blood and gibs rain from above after the previously fired rocket found its target.
The Spider-Mastermind frantically combs over lines of system code on the large control console of the Engineering Bay and again tries to bypass Luna's lock-out commands. The demon types a string of code and attempts to re-write the security protocols, but was again denied access. The Spider-mind rages, cybernetically-enhanced demons were standing-by, ready to deploy but Luna's access control measures were stopping the command.
The Marine steps away from the squashed demon and targets the Cacos remaining with the RPG, one at a time the grotesque abominations quickly burst into chunks of flesh as streams of blood splat to the floor and over the crates. With the exception of continued moaning of distant zombies, the area fell silent.
"Luna...? Luna...!?" the Marine hears his voice echo through the warehouse, unanswered.
It looked like he was going to have to find his own way to the portal. He walks to the other side of the Containment Area and reaches a connecting hall, he strays further into the demon infested Deimos facility.