In 2994, Jenny was a Pvt. stationed on the S.S. Nightingale, a medical ship. She was lying in bed, reading from an image she’d phased out; keeping up-to-date on the latest medical findings. Her alarm went off and she was out the door a minute later.
Jenny entered the briefing room and had a seat while the room filled up with fellow dr.s.
A moment later, a man walked to the front as the lights dimmed.
“Hello everyone,” he said, “For you new guys, I’m chief medical officer CDR. Dr. Leonard Kelly. Let’s begin. We have received a distress call from Aurora V. There’s been some kind of outbreak. It’s a well-developed colony, so we’re sending down six teams of four; two soldiers, two dr.s. Your job is to assess and isolate. The Nightingale will hold orbit should you require assistance. You’ll receive your assignment shortly via internal message. Any questions?”
No one raised their hand.
“Dismissed.” Leonard said.
Jenny and everyone else got up and went to their rooms. She did some stretches and then sat at her desk to continue reading. After a few minutes, one of the nodes in her hands began to flash. She phased out a message containing details of the mission and her assignment. She was a dr. on team one.
Jenny’s friend Lisa walked in, “You ready for some excitement?” she asked.
Lisa was from the North America region. She had straight, shoulder length, blonde hair, and brown eyes.
Jenny looked at Lisa, “Who said anything about excitement,” she asked, “It’s probably no big deal.”
“Liven up,” Lisa said, sitting on Jenny’s bed, “It’s your first deployment outside of Earth. You can’t tell me you’re not excited.”
“I’m a little excited,” Jenny admitted, “I’m more nervous than anything. I don’t want to screw this up.”
Lisa stood, smiling while hollering, “You’re with me,” she said before calming down, “You can’t mess up. I won’t let you. Now let’s go.”
In a preparation room, Jenny and others phased on their suits and stepped on teleporters. After beaming down, she joined her team in the middle of the street. The others had beamed down in different locations.
It was a nice day out, but everything was abandoned, and blood stains reading ‘ours’ were written like graffiti all over the place. The two soldiers in charge at the moment until there was a medical situation were Hal and Steven. Lisa was the other dr., and she was in charge when needed.
The whole planet looked like everyone just dropped everything and left. Machines and vehicles were left on. It appeared as though there was some looting, and very little was damaged.
“We better hurry,” Hal said, “It looks like a sandstorm is heading this way. The IDC is this way. Follow me and stick close together.”
The IDC (Interstellar Disease Control) was humanities best hope in the fight against new diseases.
“IDC spotted,” Steve said, “Looks like the facility is in lockdown mode.”
Jenny’s team arrived a short while later. The IDC building looked abandoned like every other place. Hal phased out a card and inserted it into a card reader to lift the lockdown. Inside, everything was quiet. They were in the lobby and the only lights coming in were through the large windows. To the side was a stairway.
Just past the stairway by the reception desk, Jenny spotted a pile of dead people, “This is weird,” she said, “They look dead, but I’m picking up a ton of life signs.”
“Let me have a look.” Lisa said, kneeling down to inspect the bodies.
While Lisa looked, one of the bodies suddenly grabbed her, and then another and another, “Whoa, ok calm down,” she said, as she struggled to break loose, “Let go.”
Jenny and the two soldiers tried pulling Lisa free, but there too many bodies, and slowly found themselves being overwhelmed. It didn’t take long for them to realize they were being attacked and had to let go.
Both soldiers raised their rifles and Jenny phased out her pistol.
“Everyone,” Hal yelled at the crowd, “Back away.”
None of them listened. They either kept coming forward slowly or tried attacking Lisa through her suit.
“Back off.” Steve repeated to no avail.
“What’s happening?” Jenny asked.
“Shoot first,” Hal said, “Ask questions later.”
All three fired a single round into the crowd as they backed away. Their bullets didn’t seem to have any effect; one round hit someone in the arm, a second in the leg, and a third in the chest. They still kept coming as though they felt nothing.
Hal set his gun to full auto and blasted the front of the crowd back. All three bolted out the front door before they ran out of the room.
Outside, they thought they were safe until they noticed people coming out of buildings, alleyways, down the streets, and around the corners; all heading in their direction. The people moved slowly, but there were many.
They all took aim and fired. Jenny noticed the ones struck in the head went down easy and for good, “Shoot them in the head.” she said. Even with that tactic, the crowd grew ever so closer. It got to the point were Jenny and the others had to run in different directions.
Steve went for the open street for more room to maneuver. Hal didn’t know where he was running, he just ran. Jenny ran around to the back of the IDC building. Steve found himself surrounded. Hal was doing ok running past people, and Jenny hid in one the building’s crevasses.
Steve kept firing and firing until he was overtaken by the sheer number of people. They piled on him trying to attack through his suit. All they did successfully was slow him down a bit and blind him; one was on top him in such a way he never saw the runaway tram that struck him.
Jenny’s HUD showed no more life signs for Steve.
Hal had run into a parking garage full of vehicles. He hid inside one only to be attacked from behind. He easily broke free and exited. More people had shown up or were already there. Hal fired at them as he ran between vehicles. There were more and more coming at him. All he knew was that he wasn’t going to be taken like Lisa and he would go down fighting. Hal ran to an open area and fired from there as the crowd closed in. He waited until the last moment to phase out a grenade, arm, and drop it.
The entire garage exploded in a huge fireball, and Jenny’s HUD showed Hal’s life signs to be flat.
Jenny’s radar showed there to be lots of life signs around but they were more dispersed. She stuck her head out and looked around to be sure. The IDC was too important to leave behind and she could use some of their equipment. She carefully and hurriedly made her way to the front. When she was back into the lobby, she was faced with the same crowd as before only now they were much more spread out.
Jenny easily ran past and shoved her way through, as everyone was too slow to react; but they still followed. She ran up the stairs to a door that didn’t open.
“Oh no,” Jenny whispered, as she turned around and fired at the oncoming crowd. ‘This is it!’ she thought, as the crowd closed in.
At the last minute, the door slid open and someone in a suit pulled Jenny through to safety before closing the door.