Dark Potential, potential fluff The decrepit grey-green world in front of Squad Leader Malex turned a lighter

tinge of green as he switched his ocular hood down over his face. In addition to this slight change in tone, his vision was now alive with targeting information and fully comprehensive distance relay. Slow, pulsing green light that covered the silhouetted forms of his comrades, indicating them as friendly organisms. What were not shown amid this vast array of details was any unfriendly organisms, which were the very reason Malex and his squad were patrolling the outlying streets of the Gillfield Branch of the Genesis Corporation for Scute nests which were being found uncomfortably close to the Branch HQ. These missions had become known as Locate and Immolate missions because they comprised of finding and incinerating the Scute nests of the Dominitri1. Almost all of the men in Malex’s squad had a vested interest in this task, as they almost all had family at the HQ. It is a man’s life in the Gillfield Branch, but the Corporation looks after their own, something that every man here is sombrely and gratefully aware of. After some time of striding amongst the detritus and moss strewn streets, the squad’s prescribed route collided with a rancid pool of water, stagnant with algae and half covering a corroded sewer grate. “Sir? Don’t tell me we’re going through that.” The deep, baritone voice of Comrade D’agortol interrupted Malex’s thoughts. “Why wouldn’t we? Where better for a Scute nest than a sewer?” replied Malex, “It’s quiet, damp and underground. It’s practically perfect for the bastards.” D’agortol shrugged his broad shoulder, making his plasti-plate armour joints grind with a slight hiss. D’agortol was an alien, one of the few in the entire Corporation. In full plasti-plate armour, he could be mistaken for human, but without it, his deep red eyes and dark grey exoskeleton gave him away. “Robin, Dinicholas, get the gravitation platform up front,” Malex ordered. Robin and Dinicholas, a two man team, heaved their equipment over to the edge of the pool. They set up the platform, Robin supporting the dark matter projector on his shoulder and Dinicholas carrying the energy plant on his back, linked to the projector by thick cables. Robin began to use the projector, manipulating the gravitational pull of certain areas around the sewer entrance, sending clots of half vaporised mud and corrosion floating into the air and falling around the edge of the pool, or slopping in to the dark waters. Soon, the grate itself was pulled off its hinges with a dreadful howl of contorted metal. “Good work, now lets go down,” said Malex, leading the way into the tunnel. Inside the sewer, it was pitch black and the squad all pull down their ocular hoods and turn the blackness into green static as they activated their darksight. They made their cautious way down the dank tunnel until D’agortol, hefting his flame-lance at the front of the squad, stopped in his tracks. “What is it comrade?” questioned Malex. “The chittering, do you hear it?” D’agortol said in a low whisper. Malex held his breath, looking over D’agortol’s shoulder plate. He could hear it, the tapping, wet mass of the sound of hundreds, if not thousands of Scutes was now clearly audible.

around the size of a human head. which was now a constant drone of scratching. keeping back the growing heaps of Scutes as they clambered over their dead siblings in painstaking slow motion.” and went silent. following the prescribed route through the monotonous sewers until they suddenly found themselves in a much larger tunnel. It was wide enough for a cave and looked as though it had natural rock walls crudely hewn from the earth. encircling them. on my command. are your tracking beacons active?” “Yes. Malex broke the silence. bullets and grenades until the sickly chittering was ended and the floor was just a carpet of ichor and twitching. reaching for black hemispheres attached to their belts and throwing them so that they were spread evenly around the squad members. chitinous limbs.” Malex drew breath. his weapon spouting liquid flame into the sinewy hive constructs.“Aye comrade. “I know. I do. As the first Scutes drew near. the entire squad piled in. . from which the Scutes poured forth. The squad sprayed flame. This detail was lost on the soldiers however. comrade. For the Amelioration!” and with that. but we’re underground.” replied Malex sympathetically as he began to fiddle with his radio earpiece. “Gillfield Airforce this is Squad Lead Malex requesting evacuation ASAP.” Malex replied. There were hundreds of them covering the filthy floor of the tunnel.” he said. Two. “Flight Lieutenant Harris speaking. “Squad! Grav mines. One. the gravity wells created by the dark matter technology distorting time for anything within the radius of the mines. All they could do for now was hold out and hope the gravity wells lasted. “Now let’s get out of here.” D’agortol intoned with an alien lack of humour Malex had grown used to. until it almost seemed like they were at a standstill. “light it. we’ll see what we can do Squad Lead. “Alright. then gesturing to D’agortol’s flame-lance. the squad reached a turn in the tunnel.” The radio buzzed slightly.” The squad hurried on. After a short pause the radio responded “Ok. D’agortol peered around the corner and confirmed. for the scratching drone was back and all around. we have your coordinates. picking off individual creatures in an attempt to stem the slow motion tide.” After a few more metres of silently stepping closer to the sounds. there was a dull whoosh of air as part of the atmosphere was displaced by the motion activated grav mines and the air hazed for a second. Malex’s squad began to fire. struggling to hear over his men’s barking weapons. “There are too many of them sir. This cave was full of nests and was alive with crawling Scutes. The Scutes began to slow their seemingly relentless scurrying. D’agortol at the front. but much larger. stand by. Three. reminiscent of native insects found on Earth. urging them halt abruptly. “It’s here. spread ‘em out now!” Malex screamed and his team responded with drilled calm and efficiency.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful