Just then, Armstrong and the squad return armed to the teeth. Armstrong has two extra assault rifles slung over his shoulder and several belts of ammo for us. We proceed down a long underground concrete corridor until we come upon an excavation sign near an heavy metal elevator doors. I hit the button, nothing happens, “Power out here too.”
“Taylor, set charges on the heavy metal doors. She expertly places small charges near the four corners of the doors. She hollers “Fire in the hole!” and the squad moves away for cover. Taylor knows her stuff, she blew those doors without destroying anything else.
I peer down the dark elevator shaft and signal to the squad to climb down an emergency metal latter embedded into a long concrete shaft that is at least 100 meters deep. One by one they go down the shaft. “Careful people, it’s a long drop, keep your steps steady,” I yell from above. Garcia slips on the latter, but quickly regains his footing, he catches his breath as he looks uncomfortably down the dark shaft, it seems almost bottomless.
The squad eventually reaches the bottom and activates their night vision goggles retrieved from the armory, since ours were fried by the EMP, it is the only way through absolute pitch black environment. We continue to move single file until we are met by a dead excavation crew. We could tell they were killed running from their pursuers.
“Meyers, point!” I order. Meyers moves to the front, the squad follows his lead into the dark tunnel. We soon come to a 20 foot in diameter cylindrical high-tech tunnel boring machine, it parked where it had punched a hole into a gigantic cavern.
Meyers stops in his tracks at the opening, “Smell that?” turning back toward the squad.
Taylor right behind him. “Yeah what the hell is that? Smells like Colby's socks.”
Meyers smiles, “Yeah, but I think this is actually worse.”
Colby from the rear, “Kiss my ass!”
Armstrong on his headset, “Lieutenant, we’ve reached the point of insertion.”
Tarver and I are just a few meters back, “Hold your position,” I order.
Colby, holds up some launching line guns. “Hey look!”
Loo, takes a hold of them. “We better hang on to these just in case," she says.
“Good idea Loo,” Colby responds.
As we reach the squad Meyers is taking a peek down into the cavern, “Hey, there’s some repelling lines going down, must of been left by the excavation crew.”
Okay, you all know what to do,” I said as Tarver and I come up from behind.
“Yes Sir.” Meyers responds. We begin strapping on the repelling gear. Within minutes we’re repelling what seems like a another hundred meters down into a massive dark cavern. When we finally reach the bottom, Colby and Meyers fan out to secure insertion point, about a 20 meter area.
Colonel Tarver is the last to reach bottom, he unhooks himself from the repelling line. So far he has only been an observer, like he sais he would be. Leaving full command to me.
Motioning to Colby, “Take point down that rocky path and secure at 50 meters.”
"Yes sir " he replies. We follow his lead down a steep slope, then over some large boulders to finally reach the path. As we move along deeper into the dark cavern we suddenly hear huge wings flapping. Colby catches a glimpse of something large flying over us. His jaw drops, then screams into his headset, “Shit! Something the size of a single engine Cessna just flew over us Sir! It was so fucking close I could feel the damn wind on my face!”
“Did you get a good look at it?” I yell back on my headset.
“No, it moved to fast – just a blur, but I think it was one of those Dracula things.”
“You mean a Draconian – continue moving another 50 meters,” I order them.
“Yes Sir,” Colby back into his headset.
Colby continues to lead the squad down the rocky path. Meyers is close behind him adjusting his weapon thermal sights, he pans the cavern ceiling above him. “Come on you mothers,” he whispers to himself. They soon reach another 50 meters deeper. Colby reports into his headset, “Lieutenant, we have maybe 30 meter high rock formations blocking us, requesting use of line launchers we found.”
“Request granted,” I order as Tarver and I encounter strange giant rock formations obscuring our view into the belly of the cavern. Sergeant Armstrong yells to the squad, “Alright you bunch of monkeys, start climbing!”
Colby and Meyers move forward with launching line guns and fire up into the formation cliff. The line hooks anchor themselves into the formation. They use a special motorized pulley to hoist themselves up quickly. Colby and Meyers zip upwards reaching the top of the formation first. Colby kneels down and adjust his night vision binoculars attached to his helmet, “Shit!”
“What do you got Colby?” after hearing his exclamation.
“I can see three giant weird machines parked in the belly of the cavern, all nice and cozy.”
“Proceed into cavern, we hit the jackpot!” I exclaim.
“Yes Sir” Colby and Meyers drop lines down, and repel down. They fan out securing a new insertion point by the numbers.
Then Loo and Taylor quickly follow and get into position. Boyer and Garcia repel in and join the others. Shepherd and Armstrong are just before us, but Armstrong suggest to me, “Lieutenant, we’ll cover the rear, you and the Colonel go next.”
“Are you ready?” Tarver asking me.
“I’m as ready as I will ever be, let’s do this Colonel."
We begin lowering ourselves over the edge of steep rocks to repel down. Tarver and I reach quickly the bottom safely.
I closely watch Armstrong and Shepherd who are the last two on top of the monolithic boulder. Armstrong assist Shepherd with her harness. Suddenly a huge shadow with beating wings swooshes by them spraying blood on to Armstrong. The rest of us below watch in horror as Shepherd’s legs and hips tumble down from the formation bouncing off protruding rocks along the way.
“My God where is the rest of her!” Taylor screams. Armstrong is blinded momentarily as he wipes blood from his eyes. Colby fires burst at the fast moving flying shape. A horrific sight unfolds as we spot Shepherd’s upper torso in the monster’s grip. She was torn in half in an instant, we didn’t even hear a scream.
Armstrong tries to repel down, but the Draconian swoops in for a second pass snapping up his repelling line in its other claw. The big man is flung from the cliff and helplessly dangles at the end of the line as the Draconian glides across the cavern.
"Taylor, screams “Its got Gunny!”
“Don’t shoot you might hit him!” screaming to the others.
Armstrong sees an opportunity to let go and lands on an outcrop of rocks ten meters below him. He lands hard, he grunts in sheer pain as an awful sound of a bone being broken. He rolls across the jagged rocks.
Colby to the squad, “Blast that bitch!” Everyone lets loose, several microwave beams hit the Draconian, sending it spiraling into the rocks, leaving what looks like blood spatter where it impacted. Its massive scaly body then crashes to the ground with Shepherd’s upper body still in its grip, her head is grotesquely crushed, her silky blond hair is now matted in blood.
The horrific sight causes Colby's fuse to blow and he races towards the monstrosity still rolling about, wings flapping in its throws of death.
“Die you motherfucker!!” he unleashes more burst, gaping holes continue to open up on the scaly body until it finally stops moving.
Meyers reaches Armstrong, he can ascertain the injury is bad, the bone is sticking out in his shin.
Meyers hollers at Colby, “Give me a hand here!”
I grip my rifle under tension as Colby quickly assist, Armstrong throws his big arms over their shoulders, and they lift him up, one on each side. Then hissing sounds emit from the darkness just beyond some large boulders.
“They're coming Dog!” Meyers looking back.
With my thermal imaging, I can see some heat signatures coming up behind them as they make their way back. I yell into my headset, “We got hostiles just behind you! Keep moving!” I signal the squad to form a fire line. My night scope on my rifle reveals figures leaping towards us.