Marine Incident with a Skulk
This story will be told from the perspective of a lone Marine who's orders were to simply observe a room with a resource tower currently un-occupied. Here is his story:
"Squad One had left me to a particular job I had never liked. Guard duty. A simple assignment where you lay back and let your eyes do most of the work never appealed to me much. With only my Light Machine Gun, no grenades, and no upgrades recieved from the Commander, I had decided that the position must not be in any imediate danger. Why else would he have left a lone member from Squad One, myself, to keep one res node in a small loading room in check?
I had been standing there for at least ten minutes, my rifle slung over my back and my pistol hanging in the holster at my side. I had been observing the room and its multiple entry points from my position by the doorway that lead to our base. There was a ventalation shaft positioned above a stack of crates. Almost directly in front of me was another entry-way, with no door. It had been removed, for reasons unknown to myself, and it lead down a corridor with a red emergency light illuminating it.
"Zero, what is your current status." I heard over the frequency from my headset. I tapped it and then responded.
"Picking up zilch. May I ask who is inquiring?" I responded. The signal was quiet for a few moments and then the sender responded.
"Squad One. We have just recieved the order to construct a res tower, and were curious on the situation in the Loading Bay. So far we're encountered some mild resistance. If I were you I wouldnt expect too much to come your way. Just wait for the commander to give you orderes."
I stood for a moment and then replied. "Affirmative Squad One. I'll keep you posted. Zero out..." I tapped the comm and the frequency cut off. What a way to spend my time.
I walked over to a counter that ran in a half-square in the corner of the room. You might have mistaken it for a kitchen, the only difference being the fact that they checked packages, not dish out food. I took the rifle off my back and rested it on the counter-top. I wasn't expecting to meet any Khaara in the back of the base; not here. My interest had fallen and I had started to absently rumage through the drawers to see what had previously occured here. Abandoning a station that had any traces of bacteria currently set up inside resulted in people leaving imediately, and dropping everything. Several times we had come across machines still operating or pots still left on the stove. It would have been just another distraction.
I closed one of the drawers and reached for another when I heard a slosh
noise eminate from above me. I quickly looked up and noticed nothing, and began to stand up slowly. I thought to myself, 'Heh, I must be thinking about aliens too much' and then relaxed. I left my shoulders slump and then quickly looked around the room to see if nothing had entered. I didn't see anything.
I calmly walked across the counters, my fingers running across the smooth tops and then lifting up, as if I were checking for specks of dust. Then I heard it again. Another greasy, sloshing noise. Then a quick whisp of air, passing the doorway and disapearing. I hesitated and grabbed the rifle I had rested on the counter top. I hit the floor, rolled to the side and then went into a crouching position, my rifle quickly darting from one side to the next. I was sure I heard that sound. Damnit, I was sure of it. I didn't see anything! God damn, where is it?
I stood up, my rifle still backed against my shoulder. I decided that if I rang in to the rest of the marines I might be able to ease up.
"Zero to Squad One, you have a possible Xenoform infiltration pased Loading Bay One." I reported formally.
The reply wasnt that of Squad One, it was the Commander. "Affirmative Zero. Squad One is currently occupied, but we show no hints of any Xenoform activity pased your position. Do you need assistance?" he asked. I stuttered.
"No... no it's ok. I must be imagining things. Zero out." I tapped my comm again on my helmet. Now I was really freaked out. That meant that if it wasnt in the halls, it was in HERE, with me. I lowered my gun a bit, began to strafe to the side slowly, but keeping my balance. I had the wall against my back the whole time, keeping my eyes dead center in front of me, sometimes letting them dart from left to right. That's when I heard it again.
The sound was louder now, more of a growl then oppossed to a gooping or sloshing noise. I looked around this time, knowing that something was here. I was fearing a Fade would jump out, but chances of encountering such creatures in such early hive development stages was near an impossibility. The sound came again, this time even louder than before. I backed up against a stack of boxes, cornering myself and knowing that I wasnt hearing it from in front of me. Then it chuckled, and I looked up.
A Skulk, glowering down with its eyes focused on my torso, its teeth dripping, and its legs outspread and poised, was standing atop the stack of crates. I hesitated, dashed out from my corner but then tripped over my own feet, hitting the ground with my rifle sliding from my grip to a distance across the floor. I looked back up at the crates. The Skulk readied itself and then pounced. I rolled to the side and it landed on the spot where I had once laid. It darted its head to where I was, and then dashed towards me.
I had to act fast, and I reached into my pocket and yanked the pistol out, the safety coming off the second it was released from its covering. I had it with one hand and the aiming was horrible. I shouted while letting the bullets fly from the barrel and then fling into the direction of the oncoming Skulk. I stared it down as it continued to dash at me. Then I saw it. A bullet hit it in what I would have thought to be the shoulder. It looked as if it winced, and then tore off to the side and leaped out of the way. I heard it land on the counter and then growl.
I quickly looked back, and the Skulk seemed to be occupied with the wound. I jumped up and then dove for my rifle. I could feel the cold metal in my hands as I gripped the front and the trigger, and then I landed back on my feet. The gun was poised to fire any moment, and the Skulk looked back at me. I didn't hesitate to fire.
The bullets flew from the barrel of the gun and the skulk dashed off and made a run for the ventalation system. I wouldn't let it escape. I straffed off to the right, not fearing death any longer, only seeking retribution. I saw some of the light rounds pelt the Skulk's body, its flesh now letting blood fling out and the Skulk lost momentum as it continued to run. It jumped up and made a blind heading for the vent. I continued to fire, and I had apparently weaked the creature just enough.
The Skulk had no strength left in its jump and only managed to grip the sides of the vent like a wounded dog claws at a door. It convulsed as its claws held on to the edges. It then released its grip and fell to the floor. I approched the carcas slowly, wondering if I had killed it or badly wounded it. When I looked out it lay on the floor, twitching and thrashing about. It saw me from the corner of its eye and made an attempt to stand. I wasted no time.
I threw the rifle from my hands and then reached into my back pocket for my knife. The Skulk made one last stand, and I leapt out and let the blade run into the Skulk's back, the blood now oozing out from the wound. The Skulk made one last movement and then collapsed on the floor, with the breathing and pulsing coming to an end. I heard the comm now light up with a signal.
"Is everything alright Zero? We heard gunshots!" it was the Commander. I panted, drawing the blade from the dead Skulk and then putting it on top of the counter. I tapped in.
"Yes sir, everything is fine. Area secured." I replied. The commander was probably rather curious, but only had a click
eminate over the channel to show he understood. I then chuckled and then replied again.
"Now how about a res tower?"