This is the first part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. Vote in the comments below or on Twitter at #TheMark.
You approach from the south. The decimated airfield is deathly silent. Nothing moves. Heavy clouds block the starlight, blanketing the area in pitch. Conditions are optimal — your special ops team has practiced this scenario so many times that you don’t need light. Besides, you didn’t travel 250 miles to sightsee.
You came to kill.
Your team has taken up positions 30 yards from a large bunker rising out of the ground, circled by razor wire: the entrance to New Milwaukee, an underground city that was once your ally. Tall poles topped with glass globes are stationed every ten feet along the fence. You remember the fence from the photographs provided by intelligence. No one was sure what the globes were for.
You glance at your stopwatch just as the sound of a rough diesel engine reaches your ears. Dim, yellow headlights sweep over you and continue on, unaware of your presence. A flatbed truck turns away and slowly circles around the fence. It’s supposed to be a patrol, though your night vision goggles give you a clear view of two people inside and neither of them appear to be looking for anything.
Before the truck pulls around the fence and out of sight, its engine stalls. Brake lights flash and the truck comes to a halt. After a few failed attempts to restart the engine, the driver lays on the horn. You grab your binoculars for a better look.
The gate swings open. Two soldiers step out of the fenced enclosure and walk to the back of the truck. One peels back the tarp that’s strapped across the back while the other lowers the truck’s tailgate. Now the truck driver and passenger get out. All four soldiers are dressed the same, in fatigues and heavy boots. Surprisingly, each has only a simple firearm at their side. You can hardly believe how weakly armed they are.
The four gather at the truck’s tailgate and strain to drag out a hulking object. It’s hard to see between them to know what the cargo is. When leathery wings flop on the ground, you almost drop your binoculars: the cargo is a demon that’s been captured and sedated.
One of the soldiers disappears into the bunker and emerges again with a rolling cart bearing a mechanical device. They attach a cable to the sleeping demon, then to two posts on the fence. A soldier stands by each post. The device is turned on.
Static races across your skin and the globes atop the two posts pulse with a soft purple light. The static intensifies and the glow deepens to crimson. The two soldiers below are bathed in the bloody aura. As you watch, the soldiers’ bodies transform.
You notice it first in their legs — they squat like animals. Their thighs bulge, tearing long gashes in their trousers. Their shoulders broaden and sag forward, causing their arms to hang between their knees. Their boots tear in the front, giving way to elongated toes and razor-sharp talons. The transformed soldiers expand leathery wings and take to the air. They circle around the fence twice and take up positions atop the bunker on opposite sides.
The rumors are true: New Milwaukee is creating human-demon hybrids. No wonder the brass sent you. You’re here to take out the man responsible for these abominations.
The light fades and the globes return to their dormant state. The demon on the ground has been drained of all unlife and is left an indiscernible husk. The two remaining soldiers kick at the demon’s remains, scattering its ashes to the wind. They disappear inside the fence and close the gate.
You check your infrared. The soldiers have gone underground. The half-human, half-demon gargoyles aren’t visible on infrared. If the truck hadn’t broken down, you wouldn’t have known about the gargoyles until it was too late.
You weren’t prepared for this. Regardless, you have a job to do. You have to make a decision.
What do you do?
A. Attack the gargoyles
B. Look for another way inside the underground city
We want your vote! Vote in the comments below or on Twitter at #TheMark. Voting ends Tuesday night. The highest vote will be the next step in the story, posted on Fridays.
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Image courtesy of RayBanBro66.
Voting for part one is now closed.