Zombiosis Game Thread (PM if interested)

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ZOMBIOSIS

"Another grisly murder has been uncovered but now in the Alpha Mines. The mutilated body has yet to be identified but it is likely to be one of the maintenance workers of the Alpha Mines. This has been the seventh murder in the last two weeks ever since the Kohl incident. This is leaving a large number of colonists on edge with a few even threatening to leave despite company regulations. The Head of Security, Dominic Murdock has given no comment."

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"Goddamnit." The hulking man pushed aside his papers on his desk out of frustration, nearly sending his coffee cup through the window. The man was stocky and large like a professional wrestler but none of the flash. It has been a few weeks since the Kohl incident and already there's been several more gruesome murders than the last. He's had no leads on who or what has been killing off colonists. There was absolutely no correlation between each murder except for that it happened either close to the borders of the colony or on the mining sites. He couldn't rule the deaths at the mining sites as accidents because of how brutal the deaths were. No mining equipment or hay-wired robot could replicate the brutality of those deaths. What's worse is the lack of eye-witnesses or security camera feeds. The murders has weird written all over them but he couldn't figure out why.

"Mister Murdock, you have a call." His assistant said. Murdock picked up his papers and straightened himself out for the call. He knew how picky the executives could get when they don't see someone as neat as themselves. How he hated them and their weekly check-ups.

"I got it. I got it." He tapped a button on his desk and a holographic figure appeared on his desk. The figure was well-dressed and quite prim with slender features. "Mr. Tayashi, how very nice to see you."

"The same is said about you, Mr. Murdock. Still not getting an A.I. secretary I see."

"Never really preferred them, I'm afraid. I like the ability to talk to an individual as opposed to a computer program... sir." That word rolled off his tongue reluctantly. Before, he reserved that word to his commanding officers or those who earned his respect on the field. Mr. Tayashi had neither.

"Admirable... Anyway, what is the security status of the colony? Still hunting that serial killer or loose animal or what?" Tayashi taunted. Murdock gritted his teeth.

"We are awaiting the walls but the electric fences are still holding. The drones have been doing a good job in fending off the wildlife and my personnel are prepared for anything. As for the murders, I assure you I have my best men on it. The morale of the colony will be restored, trust me."

"I hope so, Mr. Murdock. I wouldn't want to replace a man like you. Mr. Tayashi out." The hologram blinked out of existence and Murdock repressed an urge to smash the metal desk. It had been only a few years since his resignation from the Jaegers but he already missed it. On the field, if there ever was a man like Tayashi, Murdock would not hesitate to end his life. Now he was baby-sitting a bunch of miners on a planet far from home.

"Another day another credit..." Murdock mumbled as he looked out onto the colony.

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booksv2:
John Coshia

ZombieFanatic:
Adrian Gemma

InfinityCubed:
Xandal Marcus

"Hey! Step back!" One of the guards yelled. Opposite him was a large number of miners angry and anxious. The guard was only thing stopping them from entering the mining site and their only way to earn food credits for their families alongside themselves.

"We've been out of work for a week! We need to feed our families, y'know!" One of the miners yelled back.

"This is an active crime scene. I can't let just anybody in, alright." The guard answered.

"This entire mining site's been an active crime scene and we need to work, man." One of the miners stepped forward, pleading to the guard. "I have kids."

"You and a hundred other miners, now please return to your homes. We're still investigating who's responsible for the murders." The miners all groaned in unison and the news angered them even more. The guard hopped on the comms.

"Dispatch, this is Webley, I'm gonna need some back-up at mining site. There's a large group of really angry miners. Some help would be appreciated, over."

"Roger that, Webley. Dispatching coordinates to guards Coshia, Gemma, and Marcus now."

Coshia, Gemma, and Marcus please report to Sector 14-M.

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Spector29:
Cypher

Mortis Nuncius:
Calvin

"And this is our Biological labs." A thin, wiry woman said. She was tall and slender but most likely from being in a lab too long. Her hair was kept in a bun tied together with a pencil even though she already had one behind her ear and in her hand. She had sunken cheeks and perpetual bags beneath her eyes but other than that she fit the role of the new Head of Science. She pointed out the labs and the see-through sections of containment which stored several organisms native to Barbaros. They ranged from fluorescent plants to tranquilized insects which were as large as a table. The contained specimens were neatly arranged in rooms surrounded by impact-proof glass. Scientists surrounded each cell like flies to a carcass. They studied the creatures carefully and even in a few rooms some scientists were inside the cells.

"As a biologist at heart, this area is my pride and joy. I assure that this is no other research facility as hands on as ours. We schedule regular visits to the jungles of Barbaros if you're interested." She gave Cypher a friendly smile then continued with the tour. "We also have Geology, Ecology and Meteorology sections if you'd like to see them. It's just that I absolutely love Biology but given my new position I had to expand my scientific fields much like my... predecessor did."

"Dr. Hopper!" One of the scientists called out. "How are you today?"

"Just fine, Dr. Lugo. Just giving someone a tour. What do you have for us?" Dr. Hopper approached Lugo's table. On the table was a sample of a plant under a microscope. Its genetic detail was being listed on a holographic screen opposite the plant. A man approached the table as well carrying more samples.

"Just some ferns we collected from Sector 0. I'm showing our dear friend over here how to use the genetic scanner." Dr. Lugo pointed to a man in dark green clothes. He stood at an average height with a helpful look. His dark green clothes were slightly dirty from their morning trip to the jungle. "Why thank you Calvin."

Dr. Lugo took the specimens from Calvin's hands and placed in a slot built into the table. Upon much closer inspection the table resembled a large computer with lights flickering towards Dr. Lugo and several slots meant for more samples. The legs were metallic and sleek which hid the processors inside of it. The sample slid in and the table vibrated then displayed the samples on a holographic projector. The sample they put in exploded out revealing the genetic matter tucked beneath the surface.

"Fascinating isn't it?" Dr. Lugo whispered.

Coshia, Gemma, and Marcus please report to Sector 14-M.

john sighs and sits up. Reaching over he grabs his combat gear and puts it on as he stands off his bed and walks out of the barracks. Settling everything he pulls each sword slightly out of its sheath and push's them back in to make sure they are loose enough to pull when needed.

Reaching up he triggers the radio and answers
"Coshia en rout. Going by the armory before to pick up my rifle. ETA 10 minutes."

Jogging down the hall way he gets to the armory door and walks in quickly.
"Hey, I need the new rifle that was ordered for me. It back there yet?"

A blond woman behind the counter looks up and smile broadly.
"Well, I can say they sent a rifle, and it would seem to have your name on it."
She reaches down and lifts up a brand new lynx, setting it and 4 clips of ammo onto the counter.
"Here you go john, this should be what your looking for."

Reaching over john grabs it and slaps one of the clips into it, cocking it and smiling as he sights it on the wall. Taking the other 3 clips he slides them into the empty spots in his combat harness and slaps the table
"thanks, see you another time."

John turns and slings the rifle over his shoulder, starting to jog towards 14- M.
Time to go scare the miners again. Oh the fun we have here.
He thinks sarcastically as he jogs till he can see the gate ahead of him.

Coshia, Gemma, and Marcus please report to Sector 14-M.

Adrian had just begun his patrol when he got the call requesting his presence at the mines. 'Dammit, the miners again,' he thought to himself. He didn't like the current situation at the mines; nothing was clear-cut. If a feral beast attacked someone, nobody would fault him for unloading a few shotgun blasts into its skull, but this was different. He just hoped the mine could be reopened before this conflict reached its logical conclusion.

He altered the course of his patrol slightly and began heading toward the Alpha Mines before responding to the initial call. "Roger that. I'm pretty close already, so it shouldn't take me more than a couple of minutes to reach the mines."

As he made his way toward sector 14-M, Adrian pulled his mask up over his mouth and nose, and lowered his goggles over his eyes. The more intimidating he looked when he arrived, the better the chances were of scaring off the miners again without incident.

Before he even reached the mines he could hear the commotion up ahead. Pausing about a hundred meters away from the mine entrance, he pulled his shotgun off his back and made sure it was loaded. For a moment he simply stood in place and took a few deep breaths. 'Keep calm, don't do anything stupid,' he told himself. 'Finger off the trigger, don't let them rile you up.' He bounced lightly on the balls of his feet a few times to loosen himself up. "I'm good," he said aloud. "Let's do this." He walked toward the crowd.

Coshia, Gemma, and Marcus please report to Sector 14-M.

Xandal was busily joking with his wife, Kate, mostly the same old cyborg puns that served only to irritate his sister. He needed to realize he would never be as funny as his wife and stop trying. Or so Melody said.

Of course, as a former man of adventure, he relished the break of routine; but he found himself displeased at the reason for his change of pace.

He didn't like killing people who weren't evil.

He donned his combat gear, its distinct blue decals matching perfectly his glowing digital eye. With twin swords sheathed and pistols holstered he set out for the mines. It would take him a good 15 minutes to arrive on foot, but he couldn't afford to risk adding to the delay. Knowing there would likely be no vehicles available, he set out for the mines.

(I'm going to go under the assumption that only the Department Heads have read Louis's dossier.)

We schedule regular visits to the jungles of Barbaros if you're interested."

Louis, who had been listening only somewhat, just smiled and nodded. It seemed like the lab tour was almost over, which he was thankful for. It's not that it wouldn't be helpful, he certainly wasn't as familiar with Savini equipment as he was Xian's, but he had trouble trying to find something good in his de-facto retirement. Sure romping with a pretty lady in the jungle sounded fun, but from the reports there'd be a whole number of angry animal voyeurs.

It's just that I absolutely love Biology...but given my new position I had to expand my scientific fields much like my... predecessor did."

Louis smiled again. He was familiar with the concept of...predecessors. He retired some of has old Xian bosses himself, after all.

Then the Science Department Head lady, whose name he forgot, led him over to a table he'd seen in Xian labs. Funny, he'd think this kind of tech would be at a premium for such a...remote colony. Romero-68 is looking slightly more appealing.

Oh, the guy with removable hands is an Android. seems legit.

"Fascinating isn't it?"

"Yes, quite." Louis said back, deciding it wasn't yet his job to decipher what he was seeing.

Jogging into the gate where the miners are gathering he shakes his head and slows down to stop next to guard originally there.

"Well, this could turn into a cluster fuck, couldn't it."
Holding the rifle in rest position he stands there watching the group of miners as the whole group surges and then backs up then surges again, each time getting step closer before backing off.

"Dear lord please let them get the common sense to back off. If we have to fire into that more than just working men are going to get hit, there's woman and kids in that crowd."

glancing over at gemma as he walks in he nods at him.
"hey, will you look at this?"

The back-up was greeted to a volatile situation. The miners were angered at the news that the mines had to be shut down even more because of the recent killings. Fear turned to anger at the establishments own inability to solve the mystery.

Webley looked to his new arrivals with some relief but the growing anger didn't help it that much. Some of the miners began to back off as more guards arrived especially since they looked more intimidating.

"We just want to feed our families! What's wrong about that, huh?!" One of the miners yelled.

"How would you like if you were put out of your jobs?!" Another one shouted. It was a symphony of insults and pleas that continued to be thrown at the guards.

"Shit..." Webley said. "I'm going down there to tell the clean-up crew to hurry their asses up. You guys stay here and make sure the crowd doesn't do anything they'll regret, alright?"

Without confirmation, Webley ran into the mines wondering why the forensics team was taking so damn long.

"Shit... I'm going down there to tell the clean-up crew to hurry their asses up. You guys stay here and make sure the crowd doesn't do anything they'll regret, alright?"

Before Adrian could respond, Webley ran off, leaving only John to back him up.

"Fuckin' asshole," he muttered under his breath. He shot a glance toward John and said, "Hey, we're not shooting anyone, alright? Just don't let them know that." He tried to hide the slight irritation in his voice caused by the man's earlier comment, thinking to himself, 'Why the hell is killing a woman or a child worse than killing a man? You've ended a life either way... and you still have to live with that.'

Quickly turning back to the angry miners, he became acutely aware of just how many there were. Lowering his shotgun to his side, he raised his left hand in a feeble attempt to silence the crowd. When that inevitably failed, he settled for shouting louder than them. "Our man's gone down to check on the progress of the investigation," he yelled. "He'll be back shortly, then hopefully we can all find out just when the mine is reopening. If you could please remain calm until he returns, we'll get this matter settled."

Adrian wasn't sure if his words had had an effect, or if the crowd was simply deciding how they were going to kill him if no new information actually emerged. He reached for his intercom and called Xandal. "Christ, man, how far out are you? Webley just ditched us and we could use the extra manpower."

Glancing over at Adrian he shake my head.

"Dude, if they start rushing us what do you think we should do, huh? because I see it as firing a few shots either into them or taking these pretty little blades off my back and wading in to slice a few of them till they start running."

Christ, man, how far out are you? Webley just ditched us and we could use the extra manpower.

looking the crowd over he sets himself and hold the rifle in the rest position, his eyes roaming over the people rating them as threats.
shaking his head he checks the safety and slaps the bottom of the clip to make sure its settled.

"Hey, do you think they would mind if we did a few warning shots over their heads? It may scare some away and then we would have less to worry about."

"Hey, do you think they would mind if we did a few warning shots over their heads? It may scare some away and then we would have less to worry about."

"Whoa there tiger, a few gunshots could start a bloodbath here, no matter where they're aimed. As long as things don't escalate too much beyond this, we're fine." Adrian looked at the crowd, then back to John.

"Sometime you're going to have to tell me how to be such a psychopath, seems like it'd come in handy from time to time."

Chuckling to himself John looks over at Adrian and smile's.

"It does come in handy, sometimes. And i can try, all we need is a crowd and a loaded weapon. Well, what do you know. we have both those here right now."

Looking back at the compound i growl low.
"Where the hell is Xandal? I have a feeling this could become ugly soon unless we find a way to get them away or to calm them down."

Lifting one hand off his rifle slowly he checks the swords sticking out of his left side, pulling them each out slightly then putting them back in. Finally putting his hand back on his rifle and glancing around.

"Hey bud, hows your eyesight? Because of this posse we cant see the forest beyond, and because of the past weeks that makes me itch right between my shoulder blades."

"Fascinating isn't it?"

"Yes," Calvin said in response to Lugo. Almost instantaneously, Calvin's fingers went straight for one of the terminal's keyboards and began flitting across the keys with inhuman speed and precision, all the while keeping his eyes on the holographic display before him. "Remarkable, truly. Genetic structure like few I've ever seen, unique even to most of the local fauna. However, I'm noticing some striking similarities between the chemical compounds of the fern's genetic structure and that of the Dreygr specimen. I'm making note of this in the logs along with all the finer details of the findings, though from what has already been observed, I estimate there to be more correlation as we look deeper."

"Yes, quite."

After stating his observations, the new voice registered in Calvin's mind and, with his fingers still rapidly tapping at keys, he turned to meet eyes with the man who spoke before calling out in his own voice, which was quite cheerful as usual. "Well, hello, I don't believe we have met before. My name is Calvin, and I am very pleased to make your acquaintance. I would shake your hand were I not in the middle of logging my findings, though I extend my sincerest apologies for the time being."

Calvin's lips turned upward into a bright and wide smile of genuine delight as he politely waited for a response of any sort.

Xandal arrived at the mines. The tension seemed high. He decided to lower it.

"These mines are not safe," he said. "you need to feed your families. And your families need YOU to feed them. If we let you in here and whoever did this kills you, we have allowed far more grievous harm to befall them than the temporarey discomfort we must put them through."

He hoped the miners were reasonable.

Louis rubbed his eyes. For a second there, it looked like the man's hands were taken off.

Weird.

"Well, hello, I don't believe we have met before. My name is Calvin, and I am very pleased to make your acquaintance. I would shake your hand were I not in the middle of logging my findings, though I extend my sincerest apologies for the time being."

Louis smiled politely, "Indeed, I'm familiar with the issue." He laughed good-naturedly.

The man- Calvin, as it were- seemed to be in a cheery mood. That was always nice, at least as long as they never turned into peons or brown-nosers. Those were the worst Assets. Still, no need to alienate colleagues.

"My name is Cypher. Louis Cypher. If you'd call me by my last name, I'd be much obliged. Sounds better than plain old Louis." Louis laughed again, before eying the read-outs. "I take it the jungle run was successful?"

A third man arrived to meet the group of miners. Their shouts began to dwindle and they started to back up, intimidated by guards but also partly swayed by the words Xandal had to say. The anger began to dissipate and the miners started to second guess their actions.

But down below, Webley followed the trail of flares that the forensics team had used to make sure they wouldn't get lost in this sprawling mine. Then he began to smell it. The smell of blood and gore became stronger as he approached the crime scene. He thought that at least the forensics team would have cleaned up the mess. What he arrived to was a scene from hell. What remained of the forensics team was thrown all over the tunnel. Blood was everywhere. Webley let out a nervous gasp as he surveyed the scene but he swung his gun to a sound behind him. A shadow darted past his peripheral vision and out of fear he let out a burst from his SMG. The bullets ricocheted off a metal column and one hit a volatile fuel line. A small explosion pushed him to his feet and flames engulfed the scene.

"Uh... Dispatch we have a fire in the mines." Webley nervously said into the radio. Then he began to run back towards the entrance. Before he could reach the entrance something tackled him from behind. It bit hard into his shoulder before he shook it off. He fired a burst back into the tunnel and booked it for the entrance.

Webely burst out of the tunnel, blood spilling from his shoulder and shouting bloody murder. That was enough for the miners and they began to disperse quickly.

"There's something down there! Holy shit there's something down there!"

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"Good observation, Calvin." Dr. Lugo began to notice the similarities too. Hopper moved beside him to see the evidence for herself and it was no doubt a connection to the Dreygr plant.

"We can't even get that plant here without it dying the moment we take it away from the soil. This could really help if we fine tuned this plant to match the Dreygr. Then we will have our own plant to experiment on. Thank for this find, Calvin." Hopper wrote this vigorously on her clip board. Then her watch lit up with a notification. She checked as she finished writing down her notes.

"Oh my... there's a fire in the mines."

There's something down there! Holy shit there's something down there!

Adrian whirled around as Webley exited the tunnel. "Fuck! What happened to you?" he shouted, at the same time aiming his shotgun into the mines; looking for movement. It was then that it dawned on him, "Where's the forensics team?" he asked nervously, only turning away from the mine for an instant to glance at Webley. The look on the man's face was all the answer he needed.

"Shit! Someone get him to the med-bay, we need to secure this area." His hand shot up to the commlink in his ear, "HQ, this is Gemma. I've got an injured man and need immediate assistance securing the mines. Unknown hostile is believed to be inside, and I... I think it took out the whole forensics team."

Never turning his gaze or line of fire from the darkened tunnel entrance, he backed slowly away from the mine, stopping at a safe distance. His brain was rapidly trying to determine what might leap out of the darkness, but he knew that on this planet it could be practically anything. So he waited, he watched, and he placed his finger over the trigger.

"Indeed, I'm familiar with the issue. My name is Cypher. Louis Cypher. If you'd call me by my last name, I'd be much obliged. Sounds better than plain old Louis. I take it the jungle run was successful?"

"Alright, Cypher, as you wish," said Calvin as he turned toward the hologram to store more data in his head so that he may get it down in the logbook. The more he looked at it, the more he could see the nearly indistinguishable relation to Dregyr specimen. The look on the android's face was that of genuine awe, that he could observe a species of plant so close to the precious specimenthat it may as well have been the very plant itself was something of a wonder. "Yes, you could most certainly say it was a success."

"Good observation, Calvin."

"Thank you, Doctor."

"We can't even get that plant here without it dying the moment we take it away from the soil. This could really help if we fine tuned this plant to match the Dreygr. Then we will have our own plant to experiment on. Thank for this find, Calvin."

"Exactly was I was thinking, Doctor. I'll begin preparations after I log the data. And really, it was no issue at all."

"Oh my... there's a fire in the mines."

Calvin's head turned to Dr. Hopper, detecting the level of concern in her voice, and gave his own expression of worry. "How dreadful," he said in a sincerely disquieted tone. "I really do hope everything turns out alright. It's such a dangerous occupation, any number of things could go wrong."

There's something down there! Holy shit there's something down there!

Looking back at Webley as he runs out of the mine John keeps an eye on the miners till they have all run off.

Shit! Someone get him to the med-bay, we need to secure this area. HQ, this is Gemma. I've got an injured man and need immediate assistance securing the mines. Unknown hostile is believed to be inside, and I... I think it took out the whole forensics team.

Grabbing Webleys arm John takes a few steps with him then shoved him in the direction of the med-bay. Turning back and walking back over next to Adrian, pointing my rifle at the mine and frowning hard.

"God damn pocking planet with its god damn pocking animals who want to kill all of us. what do you think it is this time? 20 creds if its another pocking damn-beast that burrowed its way in trying to make a nest."

Turning the light on on the side of his rifle he takes a few steps forward till hes at the entrance and shines it all around, only seeing maybe 30 feet in. shaking his head he steps back to Adrian and looks over at him.

"Well? What do you think?"

Xandal didn't know for sure what he was going to face, but he knew it was a threat that could not be reasoned with.

He would have had no qualms about killing it, anyway, after all the carnage it had caused.

He grabbed a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. He was ready for whatever was coming. Unless it was in the distance and bulletproof. But that was silly wasn't it? No military robots had been reported missing; and they were cold, logical beings. When they snapped, they just shot people. No need in their eyes for excess force.

This was something new. And for once in his life, Xandal didn't like the sound of that.

Adrian watched as John halfheartedly shoved the blood-soaked Webley away before turning back, evidently not keen on taking him anywhere. I probably should have guessed that would happen; the day that guy helps somebody will be the day hell freezes over. "Screw it," he said, walking over and taking hold of Webley just as he was looking ready to collapse. "You guys hold this location, I'll be back as soon as possible." He turned to the injured guard, "Let's go."

Supporting the man's weight, he began the trek back toward the main area of the base, where the medical facility was housed. "Just keep walking man," Adrian told him, "You're gonna be fine." One step at a time, they continued making their way forward. "So... any chance you could tell me what the hell got you back there?"

Watching Adrian half carry Webley away John shakes his head.
Codling, we don't have time for that with whatever grabbed him down there.
watching them till they get inside then looking back to the mineshaft.

Shaking my head he looks at Xandal and nods at the opening
"What do you think it was? And are you really going to be using a pistol and a sword against something we don't know?"

Stepping closer to Xandal he stand's within a few feet of him, his eyes flicking around keeping everything in sight.
Looking back and making sure no one walked up behind us while we were talking and watching the mine.

Webley was fading in and out of consciousness due to the shock and blood loss. He even staggered with Adrian supporting him.

"So... any chance you could tell me what the hell got you back there?"

"I... couldn't... see anything...just the team...all of them dead....it bit me..." Webley finally fell out of consciousness. Just as he did emergency drones began to arrive alongside their human counterparts. They were moving up the road and close by to the fire. One of the vehicles stopped and out came a few EMT's. The drones carried on towards the burning mine.

"Dispatch sent us out when your friend here said there was a fire. Don't worry about him, we'll take him from here." One of the EMTs said as they took the wounded man. "Oh by the way, Murdock wants nobody in the tunnels until the fire is put out and he wants you guys to stay until he gets here. He has a few questions for you guys." They loaded Webley into the truck and strapped him into various devices. The vehicle did a quick K-turn and hurried back towards the colony.

The drones hovered into the tunnels, ignoring Xandel and John. Instead of water they fired a foam that snuffed the fires as quickly as it had caught. The drones were no larger than a laptop but it dispensed a large amount of foam in a relatively short time, unmolested. Whatever was inside had left, leaving the burning remains of the forensics team.

As the drones fought the fire in the tunnels, a hovercraft landed nearby and inside of it several guards with Dominic Murdock leading the team in. He was a familiar sight because of how intimidating he looked. He was as large as Tank and looked like he could disable one with a single punch given the chance. He walked with a limp because he of his cybernetic leg. He was draped in all black more because of company regulations. Murdock walked up to them while his men formed up on the entrance of the tunnel.

"I'm going to the cut to the chase, here. Did you see anyone leave or enter the mines prior to the explosion?" Murdock asked curtly.

"I'm going to the cut to the chase, here. Did you see anyone leave or enter the mines prior to the explosion?"

"I'm sorry, sir. I was late. It was my fault, I didn't want to risk not finding a buggy and wasting even more time. I misjudged."

I'm going to the cut to the chase, here. Did you see anyone leave or enter the mines prior to the explosion?

Lowering his rifle slightly he looks at Murdock and nods at the mine.
"Webley walked in to find the forensic's team and then there was a big boom. He stumbles out bloody and smoking slightly. Adrian walked him to the EMT's and then you showed up."

Keeping one eye on Murdock he also keeps an eye on the mine entrance. The rifle still half pointed at it as he talks and listens.

I'm going to the cut to the chase, here. Did you see anyone leave or enter the mines prior to the explosion?

Regrouping with the other guards, Adrian nodded as John spoke and said, "He's right sir, Webley went in shortly before the explosion, and came out almost immediately afterwards. He was bloody, and said something bit him, but if I'm being completely honest sir... Well, Webley discharged his weapon inside a highly valued mine shaft and caused a serious explosion at point blank range. I sincerely doubt we can trust anything he tells us just now, for more than one reason."

"Why would he sabotage the mines? No one benefits from shutting them down. Was he under extreme stress?"

"I see." Murdock said. He looked the squad formed up on the mine entrance along with the guards that were already here. He nodded to the squad and they moved into the mines in a diamond formation. The drones inside the mine began to file out as the squad entered, done with their job.

"As for you three, you are to report to the Director's office at once. If you don't remember its in the Administration building. In fact..." Murdock chimed in on his radio. "Zulo, take these men to the Admin building at once."

He looked back to the men. "Get going. Director Lans is expecting you know and listen to him very carefully."

---------------------------------

"It's such a dangerous occupation, any number of things could go wrong."

"Yes... but sadly that's the main way these men could feed their families." Dr. Hopper said. She sighed then turned back to Dr. Lugo. "Get a team together and obtain more samples. If we can't take the Dreygr out, maybe we can replicate it here."

"I don't think that will be possible sometime soon, doctor." Dr. Hopper turned around to see a holographic figure pop up from across them on an unused table. The figure took the form of a human being at first then morphed to a weather map. "The rain storm that we predicted to come has turned into a much more severe storm system due to the increased humidity in the south."

"This day has gone sour rather quickly hasn't it?" Hopper asked aloud. She turned to Cypher, introducing the man to the A.I. "This is Hermes, he's our handy-dandy Artificial Intelligence installed a few days ago. He's in charge of compiling, recording and storing all the data in this facility. And don't worry, only in an emergency can I switch the full facility to Hermes."

"Good to meet you, Mr. Cypher. I hope you become a long-standing member of our facility." Hermes morphed back to his humanoid figure and gave him a bow.

As for you three, you are to report to the Director's office at once. If you don't remember its in the Administration building. In fact... Zulo, take these men to the Admin building at once.

Get going. Director Lans is expecting you know and listen to him very carefully.

Nodding john turns to Zulo and raises an eyebrow, putting his rifle over his shoulder and standing there waiting for him to move. Smiling faintly and resting back on one heel as his eyes slowly roam over the mine and forest.

"Well, lets get going. Don't want to miss out date with the director."

"Don't bother using your seatbelts, the ride's really short." Zulo said. With all of the group inside, he took off. The ride was a short one but off to the side a large storm could be seen approaching the colony. The storm clouds were heavy with water and slowly but surely making its way there.

The hovercraft landed on the hoverpad outside the Admin building. By the time they left the vehicle a nasty wind was tearing through the area. There were guards awaiting the group and they escorted them in. Inside the Admin building was business as usual with quaint music still heard in the background. The building was spacious as it was intimidating with automated drones patrolling the halls and the cameras dotting the corners. They were led up stairs where the Director was waiting for them.

Director Lans met the group at the top of the stairs. He was a gaunt individual with sharp features and slicked-back hair. Both of his eyes were cybernetic, glowing a faint blue. He scanned the entire group before motioning them to enter his large office. Once they were inside, the door locked and the room darkened. Lans touched the wall near his desk and it lit up.

"Besides Murdock and his men, you will be among the first guards to know exactly what is going on. This is happening faster than we can handle so desperate times call for desperate measures as cliched as that may sound." Lans brought up several images on the wall. "This may seem disturbing to some of you but no doubt that things will get more horrific if we don't put an end to it soon."

The images on screen were of the murder scenes with a focus on the victims. Their bodies are ripped apart, heads burst open and entrails splayed out. A grisly sight to say the least. "At first the victims were always torn apart with a focus on their cranial matter being taken from their heads but now their bodies are being left more intact for a reason."

"You might remember the Head of Science, Doctor Russo. Before his unfortunate departure, he sent me a letter saying that there was something in the jungle bringing back the dead. As delusional as that may seem, I'm afraid that is what is happening around here. I don't expect you to take this in right away. It took quite a bit convincing for Murdock and his gang but I hope that you are more understanding." To support his claim, Lans brought up a video of the Kohl incident. It was grainy at first but it soon became clear that the video was of the drone's perspective. It was thought that the drone malfunctioned, frying its recording system but apparently Lans has his ways. The video cuts to the combat encounter with an unknown figure attacking the patrol. Lans stops the video and zooms in on the figure. "See that. That's Doctor Russo. We recovered the body and the DNA matches perfectly." The video continues showing the bloody encounter. Andrews tried giving Larons CPR but he was only greeted by a blood bite. Kohl opens fire on Larons before the man could get anywhere near him. Larons collapses with a portion of his brain blown off. The video ends with a distraught Kohl leaving. "Any questions?"

You might remember the Head of Science, Doctor Russo. Before his unfortunate departure, he sent me a letter saying that there was something in the jungle bringing back the dead. As delusional as that may seem, I'm afraid that is what is happening around here. I don't expect you to take this in right away. It took quite a bit convincing for Murdock and his gang but I hope that you are more understanding.

Shaking his head slightly he blinks in amazement.
This sounds like those old zombie films. This is impossible.
glancing at Adrian and Xandal he meets their surprised looks. Looking back at the director he pays attention as the video of doctor russo, dead and kicking.
Licking his lips and shaking his head again.

"Sir, how is this possible. Seriously how can they be the.... The what? Living dead? Zombies?"
Looking at the pictures still up on the holo-board as he talks.

Any questions?

Adrian blinked a few times, trying to comprehend exactly what he was hearing. His obvious first response was disbelief, but he soon realized that the more probable option was, in fact, what he was being told. His superiors had no reason to mislead him, and the director did have some amount of evidence to support his claims.

Of course I would end up on the planet with some freak zombie parasite. I just move from one crisis to the next, don't I?

"I... see no reason to doubt what you are telling me, but I do have some questions sir. First, how does this... thing infest people; and second, how serious is the threat at this time?" He paused for a moment, before quietly speaking again, voicing the question he really didn't want to be asking.

"Third question... are we authorized to kill compromised individuals?"

"Sir, how is this possible. Seriously how can they be the.... The what? Living dead? Zombies?"

"The science team has been... unable to find out exactly how the process works considering that the plant inside the jungle is unable to be brought in without it dying. But the chemicals in the..." Even Lans had trouble using the word for someone like his nature. "Infected individual's bloodstream do have a match with the chemical samples we have of the plant otherwise known as the "Dreygr"."

"First, how does this... thing infect people; and second, how serious is the threat at this time? Third question... are we authorized to kill compromised individuals?"

"From what we've seen, bites are the main way of infection along with significant scratches to the victim's skin. The incubation of the parasite is unknown but depending on the source of the bite, it could be instantaneous. Airborne is also a possibility, I'm afraid. That leads me to this video." Lans displayed another video but this time it is of an individual inside an enclosed room.

The room is completely white with windows a few feet from the floor. Lars narrates the entire video. "As you may remember, Andrews was incapacitated but infected with the virus. In a few hours he turns into one of them. Notice the skin changes to a pale color and motor functions decrease. We kept Andrews for as long as we could, but that's when thing started to get hairy. His skin starts rotting exponentially with some of it falling from his limbs which start to grow outward. His torso starts to bloat and pores begin to sprout. 12 hours since turning and he releases the fungal spores around him. At 20 hours most skin is lost and bone is expose, revealing thick vines wrapped around them as if it was there the entire time." Lans zooms onto the vine that cling onto the zombie's bones. They look thick and leathery but they pulsate as if it has a beating heart.

"At a full 24 hours after turning, the specimen's stomach explodes and more of those snake-like vines are expended. Luckily they die within the minute. Hopefully the situation develops where that thing doesn't has the chance of turning into a biological bomb. This is the enemy and we must do whatever it takes in preventing such a disaster." Lans stops the video.

"Right now we are containing it the best we can but we have a situation. Not everyone knows about this and paramedics have delivered Webley to the Emergency Treatment Center before I could get a hold of them. I've increased drone patrols along the fences and I have to divert guard units to help with the evacuation of civilians into the shelters due to the coming storm. If you have family members then rest assured that they have been or are in the process of being evacuated."

"That leaves me with you men. Since you know the odds, I need you to head to the Hospital and find Webley. If he is still incapacitated then take him to the Research Center but if he already is past the point then you must...eliminate the threat. It is imperative that the research team have another specimen to research and possibly find a way to combat this threat but I understand if the situation calls for another killing. Destroy the brain or sever the head. Whatever you need to do. Will you accept this?"

Xandal simply nodded and checked his ammo supplies.

Will you accept this?

"We'll bring him in alive if we can," Adrian replied, shooting a glance at John. "No promises though." With that, he turned, left the office, walked down the stairs and exited the building. Once outside, he drew his shotgun and waited for the others, taking a moment to mentally prepare himself for what he was about to do. The prospect of killing somebody he knew was already unpleasant, but it also brought to mind some unwanted memories.

I'm going to go into a sick bay and shoot a man in the head. He wanted to believe that he'd be able to successfully subdue Webley and bring him in alive, but he was getting a very bad feeling about the whole situation. Gazing into the distance as the wind whipped at his face, he watched the storm clouds approaching. He sincerely hoped the dark skies were not an indicative of things to come.

We'll bring him in alive if we can......No promises though.

rolling his eyes john checks his own ammo and follows Adrian out of the office then the building. Squinting his eyes against the wind he turns his back to the wind and looks over at Adrian.

"Can you do this? Or do you want to wait in the doorway and let me and Xandal deal with whatever we find in there."

Stand there waiting for Adrian to answer Johns hands wander over his combat vest, checking that everything's where it supposed to be.
Mentally preparing himself to shoot someone in the head. Even thou its someone he kind of knows.

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