Into The Maintenance Tunnels

8.3.5 SW
20:13/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor > Maintenance Tunnels

Saygin figured the team would be making the same calculations he was and would want to clear areas with visibility first, so he headed to the left and up the stairs, moving briskly with his weapon out.

As he neared the door he easily spotted the jumbled track of muddy boot prints of his fellow officers leading to the door. There were other tracks too that weren’t so easily identifiable.

A security panel was embedded next to it with a red LED indicating it was locked, but the locking mechanism appeared to have been forcefully breached.

Along the floor to the right was an iris opening that led into the wide ventilation duct. The smell seemed to be emanating from this area.

Saygin turned his light to see as much of the ventilation duct as he could. The smell seeped into his nostrils and made him grit his teeth so hard his jaw ached. He took a few tentative steps towards the iris.

Peering into the opening, Saygin noticed a slickness and strange, organic corrugation to the interior ductwork. Where the corners would normally be angular, they seemed to have have been softened or curves by what he could only describe as a dark, wet, resinous material. He decided to give it a closer look before trying the door.

"Oh, fuckin' great..." Saygin grumbled as he slowly advanced into the opening, already regretting his decision.

Nothing made his skin scrawl quite like unidentified biological growth. It reminded him of growing up in those rat-infested colonies where his ship-rigger parents could find work. Walls with shit on them that shouldn't be there meant two things: infection or attack. Given what he had already experienced at the depot, he hoped this would be former. At least he might have a chance to treat symptoms.

"S...Sargent!?" he yelled out as he drew his second boot in, now officially in the resinous tunnel. His radio's static hiss reminded him that nothing seemed to be working right. He yelled again. "Sargent? Anyone!? Copy!?"

For a moment there was no sound in the stifled enclosure besides Saygin’s own breathing, but as he was about to call out one more time he heard a strange sound he couldn’t place right away. It was a sort of whirring and high frequency whining of electronic servos accompanied by a slow clunking that grew louder.

He thought of backing himself out of this mistake when his torch lamp caught the sheen of movement from something small up ahead as it rounded a corner on the left side of the shaft.

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