Everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame and/or glory, but in my case it was 48 hours of the latter. The name James Garrison is not likely to appear in history books, but the experience was indefinably magnificent, and that's almost certainly all that matters. What glory, however, is the question. To answer that, I propose another: What exactly is expected of a scientist who works 18 hours a day at one of the largest armories in a confining laboratory at an even more claustrophobic Mars base when he learns that demons from hell invade and begin a seemingly unstoppable onslaught? Well, it's probable that most people would assume that he'd hide in some obscure ventilation shaft…immaterial. I chose a secondary approach to this anomaly. Delta Labs 2 was not a very long way from the monorail, but it was a very long way from Mars City. So on November 15, 2145, I brought two plasma guns with me – an excellent decision, as I later found out – to protect myself as I tried to secure a flight back to Earth, or at least to one of the neighboring moons.
But this defensive mindset mutated into insane offensive bloodlust when I took my first life. Or rather, took it again, because the "thing" I "killed" was some security guard with no head. The experience was admittedly exhilarating, a byproduct of the fact that I had never killed or even shot at anything that moved or remotely bore a resemblance to a living creature, and this was not the first liquidation to come; succeeding kills came at a rate much like that at which hotcakes were sold back in the 20th century.
It was still in Delta 2 that the first demon that came at me, the event still a vivid mental photograph of a fearsome beast (with a less-than-fearsome pink carapace) that looked as if it had a lion, a dog, a rhinoceros and a bull as its genetic constituents, plus half a sentry bot for its limbs. I met it in the office of Delta 2's weapons development supervisor, feeding on his body. There was a strange ironic quality to this, thought I, though I didn't quite get what it was. My contemplations would probably have continued had the intimidating thing not charged at me when I entered the room. Fortunately, anterior encounters with fast-moving "undead" polished my reflexiveness and allowed me to transmute the bastard's head into cerulean vapor before it even got close to me. It would have been nice to walk over to its carcass and kick it around a bit but before I could do so, it burst into flames and began vaporizing. Obviously that was no ordinary incendiary, I thought; even at a thousand degrees Celsius, a human cremation will still leave some ashes – what more a huge, highly resilient predator? And it only started burning after I killed it – it should have burned the moment it was hit by the plasma charges. There was something very strange about these creatures. Strange, yes, but destructible, and that attribute was where all relevance laid.
On a desk sat the supervisor's PDA. It had full access to all Delta Labs, plus high-level admittance in the Alpha Labs and Monorail. I uploaded his clearance to my own PDA immediately, elated that I wouldn't have to go through my general access shit anymore. After a bit more observation, I discovered this audio log:
"This is Peter O'Reilly, Delta Labs Sector 2 weapons development supervisor, audio log dated November 12, 2145. I understand the need for safety measures against the growing number of cases of rampancy, but I still don't see why the sentry bots over here need such aggressive programming. Last night, I was with technician Bert Pyllar in the firing range, where a sentry stood guard at the entrance. When we were about to leave, the bot wouldn't accept his security clearance. As he tried to push through, the bot suddenly jumped on him and began chasing him around, shooting all the way. I wanted to help, but had nothing in sight that wouldn't blow the hell out of Pyllar too. Luckily, I saw one of those BFGs sitting on a shelf in the room. The damned thing was so heavy that when I came close to the bot, simply dropping it bashed it to pieces!
"I'd like to make a request to Command for a mass reprogramming here. I don't want to see another such incident in my area again. Ah, anyone who reads this before Sunday, please give Command my humblest apologies for breaking the BFG they sent us three days ago.
"On the lighter side of this occurrence, I've discovered a new use for those big fucking guns besides the indiscriminately vaporizing main blast. Please remind weapons research to add more armor on the bottom; it's really good as a bludgeon.
"In other news, it's so far so good on the plasma gun project up in EnPro. Got a prototype from weapons analyst Theresa Chasar to test in the firing range, and the damn thing really took home the silver (well, of course – only the BFG ever gets gold). Accuracy unlike anything I've ever seen, even beyond that of my fists...only complaint I have is the slowness of the projectiles. I'm moving up to Administration tomorrow to add funding to the project. Maybe we'll see improvements on this already excellent weapon.
"Oh, and no one is allowed to touch the BFG in my office. Sentimental value. (there was a short laugh) But should circumstances require, it's in the locked medicine cabinet in the restroom at the right side from the door. The code is 385. I can't guarantee that it works as it should, but there's plenty of room for error with 15 energy canisters. End log."
"Aha, so there was a BFG in Delta 2!" was the first thing that came into my head. The second was an uncontrollable urge to use the restroom – not for excretory purposes, but because I was in desperate need of some "medicine". A BFG-9000 would bring each and every one of the devilish fuckers on the planet to their knees. I punched the three numbers onto the keypad, and there it was, the BFG, a massive firearm with very well-defined specular sheen. This magnificent, albeit a little dented, piece of equipment was so famous and rare that it was an honor to simply see one, a distinction I had not obtained until now. Surrounding it were, as the log said, fifteen glowing, viridian energy canisters so powerful that their auxiliary usage was a secondary method for reactor start-up. I took the BFG, along with as many of the canisters as I could (eight, plus the one already in the weapon). I was confident that any following encounters with "zombies" (as I designated the walking dead guys) and demons would be much easier. And I turned out to be right, though following encounters were rare from that point, partially because now that I had universal clearance plus BFG, I was able to take shortcuts by going through normally restricted areas or simply blowing walls up. I got to Delta 1 about twenty minutes after getting through the supervisor's office. There was a long journey ahead, and lower levels had little to no stored ammunition for the plasma gun and the BFG, but more help would come, I reminded myself. My hell march would not be in vain.