Authors: Richard Turner
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Adventure, #Military
The Kurgan War - Book 4
By Richard Turner
©2015 by Richard Turner
Published 2015 by Richard Turner
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission, except for brief quotations to books and critical reviews. This story is a work of fiction. Characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Table of Contents
The proximity alarm boomed over the room’s speakers, startling the night duty officer sitting half asleep at his desk. He hadn’t expected anything to be arriving on his shift. In fact, according to the duty log, nothing was supposed to be coming to the remote outpost for another ten days. He rubbed his tired eyes, stood, stretched his arms over his head, and moved over to a nearby computer console. He picked up his reading glasses, put them on his bulbous nose, and brought up an image of the spaceship that had just come out of its jump on the tactical display screen. It was a military freighter designated RV-317. The officer leaned over, checked his computer, and saw that it had requested permission to land with the station’s bi-monthly supplies.
The officer pressed a button on his console to speak with the craft. “Romeo-Victor 317, this is Eris control, you’re early. We weren’t expecting you for another ten days.”
“Roger that, Eris control,” replied a woman’s voice over the intercom. “After the recent incident on Earth, ADF Headquarters thought it prudent to resupply all the remote stations just in case something happens and we are unable to come to your location for some time.”
The duty officer thought it odd but decided to carry on with the landing procedures before waking his superior, a grumpy captain, who was always pissed about something. “Romeo-Victor 317, send the clearance code, and I’ll lower the station’s shields.”
“Roger that, Eris station.”
While he waited, he tried to imagine what the woman speaking to him looked like. She hadn’t sounded too officious or bossy. He saw her in his mind as a young blonde with curves that filled out her far too tight flight suit.
A couple of seconds later, the correct code flashed up on his computer screen. The officer reached over and deactivated the installation’s protective screens allowing the freighter to land.
“Thanks,” said the woman’s voice. “We are beginning our descent, now.”
The man watched as the craft began to descend toward the small station’s only landing pad. He got up out of his chair and ran a hand through his thinning hair before placing his blue cap on his head. He checked himself out in a mirror just before he walked out of the office. He knew it would take the freighter a couple of minutes to land and another few more for the station’s docking arm to mate with a door on the ship’s hold. He didn’t need to hurry. Not that he would with the twenty extra kilos he carried around his waist these days.
He passed the only other person awake, a nighttime technician who looked bored and tired, on his way to the airlock. When he got there, the officer checked that the docking arm had connected and the pressure between the ship and the entrance to the installation were the same. As everything looked good, he pressed a button on a panel. “Romeo-Victor 317, this is Lieutenant Joshua Oliver, my console reads green. You are clear to depart your ship. I’m waiting at the airlock to greet you.”
“Roger that, Lieutenant Oliver, I look forward to meeting you.”
Oliver smiled at the thought of meeting the mystery woman. Perhaps his long and boring shift wasn’t going to turn out so bad after all. While he waited for the door on the freighter to open, Oliver tried straightening out his rumpled uniform.
The far door slid open and a group of people exited the supply ship.
Oliver smiled when a tall woman with short, jet-black hair, alabaster skin, and red lipstick began to walk down the corridor to the airlock. She wasn’t at all how he had imagined her. In fact, in his mind, she was near perfect. Slightly behind her was a young black man with a smooth head. His confident stride told Oliver that the man was a product of one of the ADF Academies. Right behind them were six heavily armed soldiers.
Oliver pressed the button opening the airlock to the installation. With a whoosh, the door slid aside. Just before the people from the ship stepped inside the base, Oliver remembered that he had failed to inform his superior that a ship had landed.
“Good morning, Lieutenant Oliver,” said the black-haired woman with a trace of an Italian accent. “My name is Lieutenant Monica Solari. I hope that our unannounced arrival is not too inconvenient for you and your people?”
“No. None at all,” replied Oliver as he looked deep into Solari’s dark brown, almost black, eyes. His heart began to race. He had never seen such intensity in a woman’s eyes before.
Solari looked around. “Mister Oliver, where are your people to help unload the supplies?”
Oliver chuckled. “I guess in all the excitement that I forgot to wake them. I’ll call Captain Martin and let him know that you are here.”
“There’ll be no need for that. We can do that.” Solari smiled at Oliver and did the unexpected. She reached over and pulled a fire alarm. In an instant, alarms sounded throughout the installation.
“Why did you do that?” yelled a surprised Oliver, trying to be heard over the shrieking alarm. “There’ll be hell to pay for this!”
“I have my reasons,” replied Solari cryptically.
The black man standing next to Solari turned about and looked at the soldiers behind him. He pointed down both ends of the corridor before stepping aside to let the troopers move past him. Right away, the men charged their weapons and broke down into two teams of three.
“What the hell is going on?” demanded Oliver.
“Shut up,” replied Solari as she pulled out a hidden pistol from behind her back and jammed it hard into the confused officer’s stomach.
People woken from their deep slumber by the alarm ran out of their quarters and into the hallway, only to be mercilessly gunned down. None of them were armed as they had not expected the base to be under attack. There were only thirty-four people on the installation, all of whom, except Oliver, died without ever knowing who their assailants were, or why they were being killed.
Oliver stood there, impotent to help the people being slaughtered right before his eyes.
The black man pulled out a card from his shirt pocket, reached over, and inserted it into the fire alarm turning it off. Next, he grabbed hold of a small handheld communications device on his belt and turned it on. “Alpha Team, report.”
“All clear,” replied the team leader. “We have taken the command center. No casualties to report.”
“Bravo Team, what’s your status?”
“We’ve found the captain’s quarters and have secured the passkey,” responded the Bravo team leader.
“Excellent work. Meet Solari and me at the command center.”
“Who are you people?” asked Oliver, his voice quivered in fear.
“Isn’t it obvious?” said Solari, “Now, shut up and walk.”
The black man grabbed Oliver by the arm and pushed him down the corridor. He stumbled forward, nearly tripping over his own feet. He was numb with fear. As they passed the dead lying on the floor looking up with unblinking eyes, Oliver turned his head away. When they arrived at the station’s command center, the rest of the assassins were already there waiting for them.
Solari placed a hand on Oliver’s shoulder. Her touch was as cold as ice. “Now, Mister Oliver, what I want you to do is bring up the service elevator from below.”
In a flash, Solari slapped Oliver across the face, splitting open his lower lip. “Don’t play dumb with me. You know precisely what I mean. There are only two people on this base with the necessary authority to access the elevator. As your captain is lying on the floor of his quarters with a hole blasted through his chest, that leaves you. Now be a good man and bring it up, or I’ll have Harry pop out your right eye with a knife and use it to gain access.”
Oliver recoiled back in horror. “I can’t.”
Before he could say another word, Lieutenant Oliver was grabbed from behind by two of Solari’s soldiers.
The young black man smiled, drew a slender blade from his belt, and walked over to the terrified man. “Hold his head,” ordered Harry Williams.
Oliver saw the light glisten off the razor-sharp blade and struggled to break free. “No! For the love of God, please don’t hurt me.”
“Bring up the elevator,” repeated Solari.
The terrified officer saw that there was nothing he could do to escape. He lowered his head in shame. “Okay, you win. I’ll have it brought up.”
Williams pointed to the far wall. The men holding Oliver manhandled him over to a computer station and forced him to sit down in a chair. A gun was thrust against the side of his head.
Williams leaned over and grinned at Oliver. “Don’t try anything foolish. I know the process you need to complete to call up the elevator down to the last keystroke. What I don’t have is your retina. Do this and I promise you a quick and painless death.”
With his hands shaking like leaves caught in a storm, Oliver began to type. When the computer asked for a retinal scan, Oliver placed his head on a stand that held his head in place while a machine scanned his right eye, verifying who he was. A second later, the far wall began to slide to one side revealing a set of closed elevator doors.
,” said Solari.
Oliver pulled his head back and looked up at Williams. Fear was written across his face. “I’ve done what you asked me to do. Please don’t kill me.”
Like a cobra striking, Williams thrust the knife in his hand into Oliver’s temple, killing him. His body jerked and then went limp. He fell face-first onto the computer keyboard.
Solari pushed a button. The elevator doors slid open.
“After you,” said Williams to Solari.
She nodded, stepped forward, and walked into the lift. Williams joined her and pressed the down button. The doors slid shut and the elevator began to descend. The ride took less than thirty seconds. With a chime the doors opened. Williams and Solari stepped out and looked at one another. The rumors were true. Spread out before them was a secret biological warfare storage facility. There were dozens of hermetically sealed rooms packed with containers that were filled with the deadliest and most virulent agents ever created by mankind.
“Look for the virus,” said Solari. “It’ll be marked with a black biological warning sign.”
It did not take long for Harry Williams to find what they were looking for. Inside a closed room was a single canister sitting inside a clear glass container. “Praise the Lord. It is true, it does exist.”