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Dark Places

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Sweat rolled down Pvt. Bitterman’s neck as he slowly traversed through the gloomy hallways of the Strogg base, his mind alert and his eyes scouring for any sign of the bio-mechanical aliens. In the bare illumination provided by the rows of flickering ceiling fixtures that trailed down the hallways, he could see metal pipes lining the steel walls, and he followed these pipes which he had hoped should lead him to the underground sewer tunnels, where he had at least a slight chance of escape from the dreaded fortress.

He was just about a few arm's length from one among a series of geometrical-themed blast doors which sectioned parts of the fortress when he suddenly heard a faint hiss coming from the dark shadows of the hallway. Adrenaline engulfed his senses as he turned around to face what ever sort of creature that was threatening him, only to have the dreaded hiss coming again from his back. 'The fucker is crawling up the ceiling,' Bitterman thought. So he spun around swiftly and guess-aimed his double-barreled shotgun about 45 degrees upwards before letting out an explosive shot.

‘Boom!’ sounded the gun, and the buckshot went narrowly pass the shadowy creature and hit one of the metal pipes lining the ceiling. Steam came rushing out of the ruptured pipes, and the creature squealed before falling and crashing down to a spot on the floor where what little light that was present shed upon it’s misshapen form.

Bitterman only had a glimpse of the creature – it was part machine, part flesh, all monster. It looked like something that came out of the devil's nightmare itself, only with a dash of science fiction with its various gothic tech melded onto its already horrible body.

The creature was quick to get up from his fall and charged at Bitterman with the resoluteness of a mindless beast; claws, sharp teeth, and metallic spikes protruding from its body came rapidly at the soldier. But Bitterman only had to move his aim slightly to the center of his view – right at the head of the incoming tech-spawn – and again let off a blast. The creature’s head exploded as it leapt for him in mid-air, and it fell to the ground, forming a heap of mangled flesh and ruined hardware right in front of his feet, dead.

Bitterman shot the creature again, just to be safe. The adrenaline surging within him gradually subsided as he crossed over the bio-mechanical carcass and approached the blast door in front of him. He reached for the touch-sensitive panel screen and disengaged the door. The steel bulks that formed the blast door hissed as it slid open, with vapor ominously slithering out from the other side which was totally devoid of any light. Another cursed hallway.

Bitterman looked beyond the doorway, into the darkness. He took a deep breath, collecting what little sanity he had left before stepping into the damned threshold and into a new realm of horror.

Previous short story:
Wake Me Up!
Next short story:
Wong Lim Fun
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