The Good Dr.
In 2996, “The signal is strong,” Samantha whispered, as she led the way through a narrow corridor, “Next room maybe.”
“Anthony,” Peyton whispered, “How’s everything back there?”
“All clear.” Anthony responded in kind.
Samantha peeked around the corner into the next room. It was large, with multiple pathways, statues, and sarcophaguses dotting the room. There were also a few AFU soldiers standing about. “Peyton,” she said, “You better take a look at this.”
Peyton came around. Samantha’s back was against the wall; she was clearly hiding from something.
“Careful.” Samantha said.
Peyton peeked around the corner and saw the AFU soldiers. He leaned back to Samantha, “Why didn’t we detect them on radar?” he asked.
Samantha shrugged, “It could be this place,” she said, “The beacon was strong enough to get through, but inside it scrambles radars.”
Peyton looked again, “Then it’s a good bet they don’t know our exact position,” he said, “They seem huddled near the center of the room.”
Jenny and Anthony came up and took a peek; both overheard everything Peyton and Samantha said.
“I’m going to toss a grenade,” Peyton said, “Hopefully it’ll take them all out, but if not; Sam, Jenny, we use the commotion to take cover behind the sarcophaguses. Anthony, you hang back and snipe anyone left. We need to be quick about this, first thing they’ll probably do is radio for backup and give away our location.”
Peyton phased out a grenade, armed, and tossed it.
It took a second for the AFU soldiers to realize what it was before they scrambled in different directions.
As soon as the grenade went off, Peyton led the way in, firing at one of the soldiers and striking him several times before realizing what was happening. The grenade had taken most of the AFU soldiers out.
As three of the Horsemen took cover, an AFU soldier noticed them and fired wildly at them as he ran for cover himself. Peyton, Samantha, and Jenny were unable to get a clear shot at the soldier because he would shoot every time he stuck his head out; then he’d go right back into cover.
The soldier never noticed Anthony hiding in the doorway. Anthony lined up a shot and waited for the soldier to make the mistake of sticking his head out before taking a shot. Everything was now quiet and the Horsemen emerged from cover; guns at the ready, making sure all opposition was dead.
Peyton found the beacon on one of the dead soldiers. He picked it up, deactivated it, and phased it in. “Let’s be quick,” he said, “Look for any sign of the Dr.”
A radio message with a female voice then came in whispering, “Can you hear me?”
It didn’t sound like Samantha or Jenny. The Horsemen instantly raised their weapons and looked around.
“Who is this?” Peyton asked.
“It’s me Anjum Sayyad.” She said.
“Where are you,” Peyton said, “We need to get out of here.”
“Nearby,” Anjum said, “In a sarcophagus. I’m using a very short wave frequency so you have to be close.”
“We’re in a room full of sarcophaguses,” Peyton said, “Which one are you?”
“I can get out,” Anjum said, “Are there multiple paths and statues around you? I don’t wanna climb out to a bunch of AFU soldiers.”
“I can’t make you any promises,” Peyton said, “You’re using a shortwave frequency and the room fits.”
“Ok,” Anjum said, “Here I go.”
The Horsemen watched as the lid to one of the sarcophaguses slid open and a fully suited person in a Phase type V / EXP suit climbed out.
“We got a picture,” Peyton said, “I hope you won’t mind me asking you to phase your helmet off.”
“Not a problem.” Anjum said, phasing her helmet off to reveal her face. She looked exactly like the image they had; straight, black, shoulder-length hair, dark eyes, and brown skin.
Relieved it was the Dr. the Horsemen lowered their weapons.
“We need to move fast,” Peyton said, moving to the dr., “Which way out of here?”
Anjum pointed, “That way,” she said, “Even with a map this place is complicated.”
“Sam,” Peyton called, “Take point. Anthony, cover us. Dr., stay between Jenny and me.”
Everyone moved quickly through the passage Anjum pointed out.
“So dr.,” Peyton asked, “Why did you activate the beacon?”
“See all these glyphs on the walls,” Anjum began, “They were translated several years ago. We recently discovered this site, and in another room, I read a story about an alien race called the Anunnaki. The way they’re described, humans look similar. In fact, humans are supposed to look like them for some reason. I was going to notify the UEC and warn them that other aliens might mistake us for them, then, the local AFU showed up and started taking people away.”
“What’s so bad about the Anunnaki?” Peyton asked.
“They were a conquering race,” Anjum said, “Killing anyone in the way, wiping out entire species.”
“I knew it, we’re awesome.” Anthony quickly said.
“Anthony,” Peyton called, “Be quiet. Dr., you mean to tell me the AFU is attacking us because of an old story?”
“Probably,” Anjum said, “It’s not just old. This site is ancient, not humans living in caves ancient, but dinosaur ancient, maybe even older than that. I’m sure the story has changed by now, through gossip. After all this time it’s bound to misinterpretation.”
“Dinosaur ancient is pretty ancient,” Anthony said, “What happened next?”
“I only got as far as humans being created to look them,” Anjum replied, “We were called something else back then, but it’s safe to say the Anunnaki were an incredible, destructive race.”
“Peyton,” Jenny called, “Maps show this place to be huge.”
Anjum looked at Jenny, “You’re Jenny, Jenny Nguyen right?” she asked, “The same Hero of Aurora V and discoverer of the Venati?”
“I wouldn’t call myself a ‘Hero’,” Jenny said, “I also didn’t exactly discover the Venati, but yes, guilty as charged; same Jenny.”
“It’s because of you everyone has nanites.” Anjum said.
That memory was still fresh in Jenny’s mind.