Alarms blared loudly and red lights flashed as a group of soldiers jogged down a corridor in tight formation. Under their helmets, each wore an expression of unease. Outside the windows lining the corridors, the stars shone with a harsh light, casting shadows on the otherwise dark squadron. They jogged at an even pace, keeping an eye out for any trouble. Suddenly the lead soldier held his hand up signaling a stop. They had come to a split in the passage. He motioned another soldier out from the line of men. They conversed quietly before the summoned man took the right path, disappearing into the uncertain light. The lead soldier turned around to speak to the rest of the squadron. Suddenly a gun sounded, and the soldier fell to the ground.
Shouts of men filled the passageway as they realized they had been caught in an ambush. Some took cover and started returning fire into the left passage, where the shot had come from. Others futilely tried to follow their comrade into the right path, but all were shot before they could make it. It was total confusion. One by one the men dropped lifelessly to the ground. All shot dead.
The lone soldier kept jogging the way he had come. He heard the cries of his squadron echoing behind him, but he did not turn back. The captain had given him instructions, instructions that must be followed. The passageway dipped dangerously to the right. The soldier tripped and fell. Time was running out. He got up and kept running, as fast as his plated armor would let him. He passed through many rooms, dead bodies littering the floor. Some were soldiers like him, others had lab coats on, scientists, and others were just civilians. A child not older than 5 laid lifeless in her mother’s dead arms.
The soldier stopped and stared down at them, disbelieving. “Anna,” he choked as he bent down and brushed the hair away from his wife’s face. Anger welled up inside him, tears streamed down his face. He wanted to gather them up and hold them, but he could do nothing, his arms would not work, he could not move. He just stared into their beautiful faces. The floor beneath him shook, waking him from his mourning. He had a mission to complete. He got up and ran with renewed vigor, determined to add meaning to his family’s death.
Finally, he reached his destination. Double steel doors 10 feet thick stood between him and the room on the other side. He entered the code the captain had given him and the doors swiftly opened and he walked through, then they closed just as quickly. The room was strangely silent and dark, a stark contrast to the mayhem outside. He walked over to the opposite end of the table where there was, among other things, a small, white, research pad. He picked it up and left. As he rounded the corridor, he saw shadows coming across the wall. They were misshapen, but unmistakable. He turned and ran the opposite way. He would have to find another route to the emergency escape pods.
It took him precious minutes to reach the pods, but he was almost there when a shot clipped the side of his helmet. He dove and slid behind a small alcove in the wall. He raised the pistol he was holding and quickly dispatched the shooter before getting back up. He could see the pods ahead of him when he heard sounds of pursuit behind him. The pod opening was a dull white with a silver rim around it, big enough for two good sized men to get in at the same time. Inside, it could hold maybe four people. He threw the research pad onto a seat of the pod and dove inside as shots ricocheted off of the opening. Using the keypad inside, he closed the hatch and started the thrusters. Arms and hands pounded at the closed hatch. Shots were fired to try and weaken the metal, but to no avail.
Finally the pod was launched into open space. The soldier sat down and took his helmet off. Underneath was a surprisingly young man for the amount of war experience he had had. His suite creaked wearily, as he lay back in the seat, thinking of his wife and child. He should have died with them. Outside the pod, the thrusters steadily pushed the small craft away for the station, into the stars.
The dark ship lazily glided around the research station, like a shark circling its dying prey. Inside, a wicked smile played on a man’s lips as he watched the top part tilt dangerously to the right, shoots of fire bursting out everywhere. Anyone with eyes could tell that it was done for. Finally with a last shudder the station split in half and was engulfed in its own flame. The orange light lit the man’s eyes, making him look like he had come straight from hell. “Strojnik.” The man turned at the sound of his name.
“What do you want?” He said.
“I’m sorry sir, but someone escaped with the data.” The solider coward. Now Strojnik’s eyes lit with real fire. Raising his arm he shot the buffoon right where he stood. “Pilot,” he spoke into his earpiece, no longer taking pleasure from the destruction of the space station, “get us out of here.”