Prologue: Landing Icarus.
Date: 17th August 2348.
An elderly man with battle scars and grey hair, wearing a military uniform, is sitting at a large desk. His head rests against his right arm, while he searches through video files on a computer. The room, which looks rarely used, is a dingy white due to dirt and vegetation covering the walls. Workstations and computers fill the room, along with a large screen linked to the man’s computer. Hundreds of servers cover the walls of the room: their green and red lights faintly light the area – the ceiling lights are out.
The man pulls on a pair of gloves. These allow him to pull holographic thumbnails into the air, in the form of cubes of light emitting from the gloves. He gathers up a few of the cubes, then stands and approaches the big screen. He chooses one of the holographic cubes and throws it towards the screen. From the computer, a monotone voice announces:
“PLAYING FILE: GNC REEL #57333 02/19/2315.”
A video appears, the opening of a television news show. An attractive blonde lady in her late twenties, wearing black formal clothing, sits at a desk. “Hello, and welcome to the Global News Channel. I’m Laura Hill. Tonight, we’ll be talking about the release of the world’s first virtual reality environment, which the creators are calling Lucidity. Players can pay to enter a virtual world, socialize with their friends and family face to face, and even touch objects! Also, on tonight’s show, we will hear about an object that has been spotted on the edge of our solar system, with a trajectory that has it heading straight for Earth! Stay tuned for more…”
“FILE CLOSED,” states the computer. The man stops the video by snapping the fingers of his right hand, then searches through the other cubes in the palm of his left hand. He finds the corresponding news reel and throws it towards the screen.
“PLAYING FILE: GNC REEL #57342 02/28/2315.”
The same woman appears.
“Hello and welcome to the Global News Channel. I’m Laura Hill. Tonight, we talk about how the VR environment Lucidity has reached its first billion users in only a week! Also, breaking news about the object heading for earth that is in fact… slowing down? We talk to Dr Nakitosha of the Planetary Exploration Division to find out more on that. Stay tuned…”
“SCANNING FILE. PLAYING FILE.”
“So, I’m here now to talk to Dr Nakitosha from the Planetary Exploration Division. He is going to be telling us all about the object that is heading for Earth. Doctor, how are you today?”
Some graphics appear showing off the station's logo with some digital fireworks on the screen, then it splits into two halves. Laura fills the left-hand side of the screen, and Nakitosha, an elderly Japanese man with artificial black hair, a grey suit, and a robotic right eye implant, fills the right.
“Thank you, Laura, I’m glad to be here. Yes, well... this object, it seems to be reducing its speed as it moves closer to us. Now, before anyone gets excited – obviously this has raised a lot of concerns, so the Planetary Exploration Division has run a series of tests on the object, using powerful deep-space scanners stationed on Mars. After getting the results back, the PED has revealed to us that there are no heat or ionic signatures coming from the object, which suggests there are no engines or internal systems. They did, however, find very faint traces of minerals and organic matter on the object’s surface, although not enough to suggest life. The PED believe it could be some sort of star dust collecting on the object. However, with all this being said, the object’s velocity means that it would still hit with tremendous force and could possibly wipe out life on Earth. We are now waiting to hear back from the United Nations regarding what they have in mind for the object’s arrival. I’ve heard that a conference is being held to determine the fate of the object…”
The man at the computer begins looking through the folders until he finds one labelled “PED – ICARUS”. He opens it and runs a video file.
“PLAYING FILE: PLANETARY EXPLORATION DIVISION – PROJECT ICARUS CONFERENCE.”
This video shows a huge conference hall. The hall has a virtual ceiling displaying a detailed 3D version of our solar system. Impressive monuments of great astronauts are placed around the seating area and large stage. The hall is full of people, apparently waiting for a presentation. An elderly man with white hair, glasses and a laboratory coat approaches a podium and addresses the crowd.
“Hello, everyone. I am so happy to see that many of our teams are taking an interest in this project. I’m just going to get started; as many of you know, we need to get a plan set into motion. After running a series of scenarios, we have determined that the best course of action is to try and land the object on Earth for research purposes, and it seems like Project Icarus is the most promising program we could conjure.”
The man steps away from the podium, which lowers into the floor, and the gigantic screen behind him lights up with a diagram of the project. Waiter bots bring the audience members refreshments as they begin to watch the video.
“Project Icarus involves building twenty-four unmanned drones, equipping them with high-capacity thrusters, and sending them out to Mars. We will then turn the drones around to await the object’s arrival.
When the target is in range of the drones, they will match the speed of the object and latch onto it with high density nanotube cables. The drones will then thrust in the opposite direction to slow the object down before it reaches Earth. Then, if all goes to plan with the timing, we should be able to touch it down in Mongolia, where a mining team and some of our best scientists will quickly harvest the minerals and dust from the object’s surface before they are contaminated by Earth’s air.”
The crowd gives a round of applause as the diagram fades, then the man walks back out to the front of the stage and continues.
“If we pull this off, it could give us an insight into the contribution of space dust to life on planets, as well as possibly providing us with a limited supply of a new element which in turn could lead to all sorts of medical and technological advances – which of course would be astonishing. Does anyone have any questions?”
The man using the computer tries to open another folder but is blocked by password protection. The man enters his password and the folder opens. It contains many more videos, each thumbnail surrounded by a red border. He clicks on the first video.
“PLAYING RESTRICTED FILE: PED – MISSION CONTROL CAMERA 14, ARRIVAL DAY, PROJECT ICARUS”
The clip shows the feed from a security camera inside a dark mission room for the Planetary Exploration Division. The room is illuminated by hundreds of flickering computer lights and large screens. Overseeing the landing of the object are around thirty men, sat at workstations littered with empty coffee cups and food wrappers. At the front of the room, large monitors show the statistics of the operation and the condition of the drones that have been attached to the object.
A Commander in prestigious military clothing begins to speak. “Gentlemen, the last nineteen hours have all come down to this. We have thirty minutes until entry, so watch those drones and concentrate.”
“All drones are at full thrust and maintaining a stable temperature, Sir,” says one of the men. Like the others, he watches as the object enters our atmosphere.
A loud alarm comes from one of the workstations. “Drone Two just detached from the object!” shouts one of the others. The Commander runs over to his station.
“What happened?” he asks.
“I’m not sure; it seems that the part of the object the drone was tethered to just broke away.”
“Sir, we’ve lost Drones Fourteen and Fifteen!”
“Eighteen, Nineteen and Twenty have gone, Sir!”
The shouts come from other workstations. Red warning signs begin to fill the screens as the object starts to build speed again.
“Get those drones re-attached, now!” shouts the Commander.
“FIFTEEN MINUTES UNTIL ENTRY,” announces the computer system within the video.
The men in the room all stand up and frantically try to pilot the unattached drones back to their target.
“Will someone tell me what the hell is going on here?” shouts the Commander.
“Sir, the object is either breaking up, or shedding an outer layer of some kind. It’s enough to remove our drones. We are trying to re-attach them but with the object now gaining speed it doesn’t seem hopeful, Sir,” explains one of the men.
The Commander walks to the back of the room and draws a pattern in the air with his finger, then one of his buttons projects a video call from his phone contacting the landing site to update them on the situation.
A man at the site answers the phone, he was had a black beard and glasses. “Hello Commander, is everything alright?”
“No, you need to get everyone out of there right now. We have lost control of the object!” he replies.
The man freezes in shock for a moment then drops his phone on the floor. You can then see him running off to warn the others.
The monitors switch to large red warning signs, alerting every one of the time until impact. The situation was now out of their hands; all they could do was watch as the object plummeted towards earth and created a large blast that wiped out the majority of Mongolia.
The man at the computer opens another video file, further along the timeline.
“PLAYING RESTRICTED FILE: CDC – ICARUS CRATER, MONGOLIA. 15/08/2315”
Another video starts to play on the large screen. This time the cameraman is following a group of ten men and women in silver biohazard suits with weapons and flashlights, walking into a thick foggy area on the outskirts of Mongolia. The flashlights offer little help with all the fog; although there are buildings in the area, they are barely visible.
“Guys, I’m picking up a lot of interference around here. All my instruments are coming back with some strange readings,” says one of the men as they enter the smog. It has a light green tint to it, suggesting it is tainted by something.
“The air is still breathable, but I’m picking up some unknown bacteria, so I wouldn’t try it. And don’t tear your suits either,” adds one of the others.
As they continue to walk in a tight formation, through low visibility, towards the crash site, tiny black dots begin collecting on the lens of the camera. The group moves deeper into the thick fog. Suddenly one of the men jumps and screams, “Shit, something just touched my leg!”
“I’m not picking up any motion around us, but I think there’s something on the camera; switching to thermal vision.” He switches the settings to thermal vision. “What the… guys, there’s something in the air. There’s thousands of tiny bugs flying around us right now.”
Then, another scream comes from the group; “Fuck, something just touched my leg, too. There’s something here!”
The group begins to search, moving in different directions, until one of the men notices that his colleague is standing still, his light and his gun held down towards the ground, slowly leaning back and forwards like a drunk who’s about to hurl. “Phil?” says the man. The group turns and shines their lights on the swaying man. He does not look well.
One of the other men shouts out from the back of the group, and the camera spins round to catch him as he is tripped up by a tentacle wrapping around his leg and pulling him to the floor. More tentacles appear and begin to constrict around him, tearing his suit. Some of the other members run over to try and help him, but the tentacles are too thick; glowing red veins pulse along their muscles.
As they try to get him free, one of the women jumps as another tentacle appears from the foggy ground. As she screams, the tentacle leaps towards her off the ground and smashes through her visor with such force she is knocked off her feet. She tries to grab it, but the slug like creature quickly and forcefully enters her mouth and disappears inside her body. Another man appears to help her, but after a few seconds she stops struggling and lies on the floor, twitching as the organism moves through her.
In the corner of the screen, Phil suddenly drops his light. Seconds later, he lets out one large gargle and vomits over himself, inside his suit, then falls over to the ground. More of the men and women start getting pulled down to the ground and the group goes into a panic. The cameraman drops the camera to the ground, and everyone left standing begins firing in all directions.
In the camera’s field of vision, what looks like the plant life on the floor slithers and shifts around like snakes; now piercing through the people and pulling them to the floor where they are entrapped by hundreds more of the things. The people scream in agony as they struggle but are overpowered and crushed into heaps.
Phil’s body can also be seen in the distance, it twitches then suddenly jumps to life. He curls up inside his suit and wriggles around, clawing from the inside, trying to get out. Finally, the suit breaks and from it comes forth a beast-like creature that has somehow been formed out of Phil’s body; large teeth protrude from its long jaws, and huge black bone claws shine at the ends of its long skinny arms. The creature roars out to the sky as Phil’s skin begins to fall away, revealing a new glowing red alien body underneath.
The other men can be seen, trying to run, by the flashes of their rifles as they fire, but they are soon pulled to the floor like the others. Moments later, the bodies left on the ground begin to vomit like Phil did before he changed.
The team have now been completely incapacitated and all that can be seen is the creature’s red glow skulking through the fog, until the camera too is engulfed by the plant life on the floor.
The man at the computer stops for a moment after watching that last video, trying to get his head around what happened. After a few minutes, he opens another video, further down the list.
“PLAYING FILE: CIVILIAN LIVE STREAM – SARAH LANG CHINA 23/10/2315”
A young Chinese girl is running for her life, while bravely sending out live footage from her phone. It is clear that her city is facing an attack. At first, not much can be seen, as the girl is running with the phone in her hand, but then she holds it up over her shoulder to look behind her like a mirror. It captures the reflection of a large, glowing red creature chasing her on all fours. The streets are in total devastation with more creatures crawling all over them.
She screams and puts the camera down to her side, as she tries to gain some speed against the beast following her. She comes to a group of soldiers fighting off the attackers. Without stopping, the girl runs past, and the creature switches its attention to one of the soldiers. It jumps on him and vomits in his face. The soldier falls to the ground and the beast sprays another round of the vile liquid over his squad mates.
Obviously terrified, the girl hides underneath a nearby car, still filming what is happening. The group of soldiers are writhing in pain, while the creature takes off to track down more civilians. She starts to cry and watches as the soldiers on the ground slowly start to shed their skins and change into something else. The cracking of their bones can be heard over all the gunfire in the distance.
She turns the camera around to face herself and sends a message to her loved ones and a distress call to the rest of the world. The ground starts to rumble. She turns the camera back around, then presses herself low to the floor. Tiny pieces of rubble jump off the ground as something comes closer towards her from down the street. Two large, fleshy legs could be seen between the cars bumper and the floor, walking up towards the group of soldiers. It is a huge Abomination made up of what be close to a hundred dead bodies; some of their faces can be seen in its side as it walks. The thing also has one arm with huge black claws and a nub for its other arm. It approaches the soldier’s bodies on the floor; as they try crawling for help, the creature slams the nub arm in to one man’s back. The girl screams as blood spews from the soldier’s mouth and he is lifted into the air, somehow stuck to the Abomination’s nub.
The soldier’s body starts to crumple up and mould together like clay, his bones reshaping into long, sharp, black claws. Within minutes, the soldier is completely gone and in his place, is a large, muscular arm for the Abomination.
The girl screams again in despair, this time attracting the attention of the Abomination. It lets out a deafening roar that rumbles her heart inside her chest and shakes the lens of the camera on her phone. She tries to crawl out from under the car. A loud crash is heard and the video stops.
“END OF FILE.”
In the computer room, a woman with curly hair wearing a doctor’s coat enters, and approaches the man watching the clips.
“Have you found anyone yet, Sir?” she asks.
“Look at this one,” he says, loading a video he had saved on the screen.
“PLAYING FILE: INFANTRY HELMET CAMERA FILE: 3394 - PRIVATE FIRST-CLASS YURI CHEKHOV. 12/11/2315”
The video shows a mounted camera feed of a soldier with his squad on the streets of Moscow. The country is under siege. The men are sheltering behind an overturned delivery van while explosions shake the ground and wisps of smoke blow past the camera.
“Come on, men, we have to get the hell out of here – the city is lost!” exclaims the sergeant. The soldiers start running down the street, peppered by shrapnel from nearby explosions. They move in tight formation until the man with the camera breaks away from the party and sprints down an adjacent road. Rubble begins to rain from the sky as the explosions draw closer, and other squads can also be seen retreating from the fight.
“Private, where are you going? Get your ass back in formation, Yuri!” shouts the sergeant, but Yuri doesn’t stop.
The private continues to run down the street. The video shows several buildings in ruin from the damage sustained to the city, and the sky is a dark grey and orange; the sunlight is hitting the dust rising from the destroyed buildings. Yuri reaches the driveway to a house that is still mostly intact. Without stopping, he runs up the garden path and bursts straight through the front door to the hallway inside.
“Eva! Kids! Baby, where are you? Jacob, Kiera!” Yuri frantically searches the house, in a panic after seeing the damage to it from the outside. He opens the basement door and sees his wife Eva, daughter Kiera and son Jacob huddled together in the darkness; the power is out. “Eva, come on we have to go. Right now, Eva!”
Hearing Yuri’s voice, Eva snaps out of her fear and grabs the children to follow Yuri upstairs. As they reach the kitchen, there is a large explosion outside, blowing something through the wall and onto the kitchen floor.
“Go! Run out the back now!” Yuri screams.
At his voice, the object on the floor jolts up and stares straight at Yuri. It rises, a humanoid creature standing around seven feet tall, covered in spots and pulsating boils. Its blood glows bright red through its veins. It lets out a painfully loud screech as Yuri reaches for his M492 assault rifle. In one swift move, he raises the weapon and fires a single shot directly into the creature’s head. The thing hits the floor and Yuri runs out the back door, to where Eva and the children are waiting. Outside, he notices a large sewer tunnel, ruptured from an explosion. It is big enough for them to run through.
“Quickly, everybody, follow me into that pipe.”
Yuri turns on the flashlight at the end of his gun and goes underground first to secure the tunnel, followed by the children, then his wife at the back. The tunnel is pitch black apart from Yuri’s flashlight and every explosion on the surface shakes the tube as they sprint along it. Yuri takes out a communications device to make a call; it also provides a small amount of extra light for them.
“Command, this is Private Yuri Chekhov, I need an immediate fast mover strike on my position, over.”
A man’s voice replies, “This is Command. Private, your team has been wiped out. Make it to the outskirts of the city and a personal UAV has been assigned to your locator for an extraction. Now get the hell out of there. Fast movers are inbound to your position. Command out.”
As Yuri activates his locator, there is a piercing scream from the back of the line.
“Mommy!” shouts Kiera.
Yuri turns around and sees his wife being dragged back down the tunnel by the creature he had shot at the house. Its red blood lights up the tunnel as it retreats.
“Eva! Get off her!” he shouts as he sprints back down the tunnel.
The sound of jets roars in the distance. followed by a loud rumble and more vibrations. Yuri slows down. A light from the opening is quickly filling the tunnel. The fast movers have dropped their payload. Yuri has no choice but to turn back.
“I’m sorry, baby...”
He runs back up the tunnel and shouts to the kids, “Go, move, kids! We need to run now!” They run as fast as they can until Kiera stops.
“Daddy, stop, there’s a gap. We can’t make it.” Under the gap is a chasm. Yuri checks his locator. ETA: 00:00:10. He sprints faster.
“Daddy, stop!” shouts Kiera.
He grabs both the children and locks his arms around them as he falls downwards through the gap. While they descend, Yuri’s personal UAV locks onto his Locator and dives to catch him. It clings onto all three of them with six limbs and encases them in armoured plating, then just moments before hitting the ground it shoots straight up out of the chasm into the sky and towards a large chopper in the distance.
When they reach it the PUAV docks onto the side of the helicopter and allows the three of them to exit. Yuri, Kiera and Jacob step off and walk up to the windows to look out over the smouldering, scarred land.
Yuri mutters, “Eva...”
The camera turns off.
“END OF FILE.”
“I’ll get him in at once, Sir. His age might not...” says the woman.
“He can handle it,” replies the man in uniform.
The tragedy of Project Icarus in 2315 meant the object landed in Mongolia just as planned, but due to the speed at which the object hit Earth, much of the country was wiped out. Shortly after, communications were lost and attacks from ravenous creatures began all around the surrounding countries.
China moved forces in to gather information and detain any threat. The Chinese forces were met with hostile creatures that were mutated versions of the people that had lived there. The alien organisms could manipulate organic matter like clay; form and splice DNA from any living organism together to form horrific variations of soldiers for their army. They had huge claws, sharp fangs, and thick scab armour. They moved in large groups like beasts and spread their infection by projectile vomiting on their victims. If any of their vomit touched a person’s skin for more than a few seconds, it was already too late.
They infected any attacking soldiers before they could have any form of success; after the infection had spread through China, the mutations became stronger and evolved into several types of both beast-like and humanoid creations. Russia was the next to face an attack. The whole world’s forces joined in a last effort to stop the infection. A drawn-out battle, lasting over fifteen years, took place across Russia and the former Soviet states, which in time were lost due to the arrival of the beasts’ next evolutionary mutation: mechanical Abominations.
The beasts had used the minds of infected humans to gain our mechanical ingenuity, and then began building their mutations around and inside the weapons and vehicles left behind, rendering the human defences futile. Human air superiority had been torn apart by the arrival of the Swatters: huge armoured creatures that would fling rubble with extreme strength and accuracy up into the air. Most of our planes, drones and helicopters were wiped out in this stage.
Any attack after that just seemed to reinforce the spreading infection. As it swarmed across our world like a plague, orders were given to use Earth’s remaining aircrafts to evacuate as many of the uninfected as possible. Due to the massive number of people evacuated from the Eastern Hemisphere, man-made land was constructed between North America, South America, and surrounding the Isthmus of Panama accommodate all the survivors. The Western Hemisphere became the Safe Zone, and from then on, the Eastern Hemisphere were known as the Infected Zone.
When scientists in the UK made the discovery that the organisms could not sustain their forms in deep waters, it meant that the Safe Zone could not be reached by the Infected. Humanity began to burrow underground to create research facilities, trying to find a weak spot or flaws in the enemy, to push back before the beasts evolved again.
The war has raged for thirty-three long destructive years. As a result, humanity has lost half of its planet to the organism that we helped land on Earth. Now with resources and accommodation space running low, it’s time for a hard-hitting attack plan to take back our home.
Chapter 1: Reborn
Safe Zone, military controlled sector C14, Texas
Valkyrie Training School, 14th February 2348
Major Yuri Chekhov’s Class on Infected Combat
A large Russian man in his late fifties – with black hair, a grey beard, and a single arm - stands in front of a class of young privates. The classroom is clean and white, with charts and diagrams of war statistics on the walls. Yuri is wearing an olive drab uniform; his remaining arm is covered in tattoos related to the war. He begins to speak.
“Hello class, my name is Yuri Chekhov. Quiet now! Good. What is the most important thing to remember before you head out to the Infected Zone?” says Yuri with a thick growl, towering over them due to his six-foot four height.
“It’s to pick up as much ammo as you can carry, Sir!” replies one of the privates, with his hand in the air.
“That is correct. It is not enough to just shoot an Infected in the head like you and me; you must break down the body and head until there are holes clean through the both of them! The brain and heart must be completely destroyed to stop the infection rebuilding itself. So, don’t be stingy with bullets!”
“Sir, yes, Sir!” replies the class.
“Good. Now I think it’s time you know how it all happens when someone is taken by the Infected, so here it is.”
Yuri pulls a chair up to the class, facing them, and sits down. The class falls silent as he leans forward.
“The creatures you come up against will try to attack you with a ranged vomit-like projectile. If this touches any part of your skin at all, it will seep through the pores and you will begin to change in a matter of minutes. Once the infection completely takes hold, the person is now clinically dead, and the skin will begin to fall away from the body.
Then the body will reanimate. It will slowly skulk around for about a week until the soft tissue that was under the skin begins to scab up like armour: hard, thick armour, impenetrable by small arms. You will know if you see one, due to the deep red glow coming from between the thin cracks of the armour and from their mouths and eyes. They produce this glow due to a reaction between the Infected blood and our own. If you ever see that glow, pull that trigger ‘til your magazine’s dry – or run for your life.”
A female voice blares over the building’s radio system and some of the pupils jump in their seats. “Major Yuri Chekhov, you have been ordered to attend a meeting with Commander Bennett in the briefing room.”
“Oh great... I think now is a good time for my retirement!” he says, chuckling to his class. “OK, in that case we will wrap things up for today and I will see you all at the same time tomorrow.”
The students all rise and gather their belongings. A few of them salute Yuri as they leave, closely followed by Yuri, making his way through the hallways to the briefing room.
Most of the facility is clean and well maintained, but due to the war effort the equipment is outdated and many of the engineering students must work on repairs for vehicles that were badly needed in service.
Yuri walks past the machine shops on his way and many of the people inside stop their work to salute him. He is well known for his past contributions to the war effort; some of his previous missions quickly became triumphant war stories passed around from soldier to soldier. He acknowledges the greetings and continues to the briefing room.
Arriving there, he sees Commander Bennett, a slim, blonde haired man, is waiting for him, The Commander stands in front of a large desk with holo-folders scattered over it. The room has been cleared of all other personnel.
“What do you want from me this time? I must be getting too old for this stuff by now,” Yuri says as he walks up to the Commander, admiring all of the achievements and awards hanging from the walls.
“Chekhov, it’s good to see you again. How is the class going? I trust you’re grabbing their attention.” Commander Bennett laughs as he searches through the holo-folders.
“They are a bright group, much brighter than I was when I was drafted. But without a first-hand experience of the Infected area, I fear that the training I am giving them may be forgotten,” Yuri says with a concerned voice as he takes the seat indicated by the Commander.
“Ah yes, this is very true. You could be the hardest grunt in the core but when you see those freaks for the first time, well, you would have to be crazy not to lose yourself. Anyway, with all that said, I bet you’re wondering why you’ve been called here. Well, unfortunately, I can’t tell you that yet because I don’t know myself. I have just been ordered to ask you if you will take part in a plan of attack on the Infected area, coming down straight from the Spire itself,” he says, finding the holo-folder he was looking for and sitting down on the other side of the table, facing Yuri.
Yuri sniggers, “Great, another brilliant plan to get hundreds of soldiers killed in the name of the Spire. Well, unfortunately I am going to decline; I still have the scars from the last mission they sent me on.”
The commander nods. “They thought you might say something like that, so they told me to release the information that Jacob Chekhov will be providing the mission’s air support,” he says, then gets up to hand over the folder.
“How can that be, I thought he had his jet revoked after that stunt he pulled in Poland,” says Yuri.
“You now know as much as I do,” replies the commander.
Yuri stops, rubs his hand over his face and lets out a long sigh. “I knew that boy was going to get me killed one day. Alright then, I will do it. What now?”
The Commander chuckles. “There’s a chopper with a team waiting outside for you, so this will be goodbye from me, Major.” He salutes Yuri and sticks out his hand.
“Thank you for everything, Bennett, it was a pleasure to teach in your establishment.” Yuri stands up, salutes and then shakes his hand. He exits the building via some steps that lead to a helipad. There are five men waiting for him; three of them are dressed in white coats and two are armed with military grade stealth system battle armour. The men stand in front of a large helicopter. It had been a while since he’d seen one that wasn’t in pieces in the machine shop. One of the men in white coats approaches Yuri.
“Major! We’re so glad to see you accepted to join our fight. We are the lead research team of the Spire and we’ve been sent here to collect you, Sir. There are many others inside the chopper who also agreed to join in our fight.”
The chopper starts up and Yuri must shout over the engines. “Well I guess it’s too late to grab my belongings then, huh?”
“They will be sent to your quarters when we have got you settled in,” the man says as they start walking towards the helicopter.
“Settled in? I thought I was going on a mission somewhere?” shouts Yuri.
“Yes, you are. Don’t worry, Major, all will be made clear when we reach our facility.”
All the men step into the chopper and then it takes off. There are eight men all together inside, not including Yuri; three of them are scientists wearing white lab coats, two are wearing stealth battle armour, two are comparing knives, and one African American in his late twenties, covered in tattoos and wearing a green military grunt outfit, is sitting and looking out of a window. Yuri grabs the seat next to him and buckles himself in.
“OK, gentlemen, now that we have everyone, we can move you to our facility in Los Angeles and get you briefed on the mission,” says one of the scientists as they take off.
The man sat next to Yuri turns around. “Corporal Jericho King, Marine Corps. What’s your story?” the man enquires with a strong American accent.