Sunday 13 March 2016

Aberrant - Secret Mountain Base

I made a quick check of the bodies before we went through the doors into the cavernous, crate-filled chamber beyond. To my relief, Steve was not among the casualties. The relief did not assuage the sense of betrayal.

Several of the bodies seemed to have suffered explosions caused by their own weaponry: it looked like something in the survivor's gun had triggered the explosion, and I remember the way the knife plunged into my back had instead destroyed its weilder. The guards seemed to have been hyped up with some kind of quantum drug and our suspicion was that the explosions were intended as anti-nova devices; they just weren't expecting novas of our calibre.

As we went through the shattered doors, we looked for signs of the storm-bringer but saw nothing. The crates were all unlabelled, but quick investigation suggested there was a rigid order. Plastic wallets emptied of their shipping receipts showed these crates had been transferred from elsewhere. I found materials to fashion a sling for the unconscious, handless survivor, enabling me to carry her without hampering my movement - not too easy despite my strength because she's taller and bulkier than me. The lighting had a vague quantum trace and the doors seemed to be some titanium/tungsten/EU fibre alloy so we reasoned there must be a quantum generator or at least quantum batteries powering the place. 

There were several choices of blast doors for us to try next, but we decided to punch our way into the observatory that hung from the ceiling in the centre of the room. All the screens were fried - I think even if we'd had Stef with us we'd have had trouble getting any meaningful information from the terminals. We took the stairs that led up and out into a white corridor that led to a mess hall and an admin area: again, all the computer terminals had been wiped and all paperwork shredded - Adam pieced together an email from, complaining about people taking his food from the fridge and we realised it would take even he a long time to find anything meaningful, though the signature block of another shredded email reveals Carl Wilson to be a compliance officer for 'Quantatech'. The extent and precision of the destruction of paperwork and computers suggests it was carried out to a strict and efficient protocol. 

Adam used the speed dial function on one of the phones to call security. In the eerie stillness of the base, it wasn't hard for us to hear the ringing further away on the same floor, and we went straight there, Pax taking over carrying our survivor as I punched our way through the walls. A red light flashed above empty gun cabinets and all the monitors showed static - but an emergency evacuation plan remained on the wall and showed an exit point in the garages far below. We were about to head that way when Adam spotted that the highest floor had no rooms marked in a manner to suggest importance, but two security rooms. It being closer, we decided to check out the possibility that one was a control room first.

We found it easily enough. As expected, the screens were fried. The central console's projectors were still on and a bit of fiddling got them to show a blank globe. Meanwhile, Adam found a hidden panel that revealed a hidden stairwell to a secret floor. A lift went down to the basement garage and made stops at a few other locations on the way - none of which corresponded to locations on the layout we'd found, and one was below the basement layer. The rooms were luxuriously yet tastefully decorated. One bedroom. A beautiful kitchen. Something familiar in the decor throughout. Fresh lillies in every room - not local, maybe from the UK. Expensive artworks on the walls - I looked over to Adam, reminded of his fascination with the art we saw on the island base of Charles or Magnus or whatever his name really is. We found a hangar, from which a private jet had recently departed - we could feel the residual heat and smell the remaining fumes.

We took the lift straight to floor below the basement, making the assumption all the floors - secret or otherwise - between would be as abandonned as the parts of the complex we'd explored. This deepest floor had a spartan, poorly lit corridor with a cargo lift as a second point of entry. Another security room was in the same state as the others, and the only other room had a dentist's chair with additional straps and a cabinet of torture implements. Although there was blood splattered around, there was no one there, so we went up to the garage on the floor above. It was covered in ice. Ice spears ripped through cars. Giant icicles encapsulated twisted bodies, eternal screams trapped behind the frozen surface. The snow that drifted in places was red. My still-unconscious survivor really might be the only survivor, beyond whoever left in that jet. The blast doors to the outside world had been ripped open much as the ones at the entrance we'd taken had been: it would seem the Blizzard of Aus(tria) used us as a distraction, as unwitting sheepdogs to guide the occupants to their escape route and death at its hands.

In the fresh air, I tried phoning Holly in the hopes Steve would have returned to her, whilst Adam tried Stef. Neither answered. Mine and Adam's mental link being re-established since that blip in America, he raced to Jen's to find out what was happening. Pax and I, meanwhile, used the satellite hack app on my phone to discover an unscheduled flight originating from this location had left shortly before our arrival - like they were forewarned about the attack. It had flown to Morroco. As I know doctors there who could care for our survivor, Pax and I went, and bribed an airport worker to learn that the jet is registered to an 'A Lambert', that it was now headed for Ireland and arrived with diplomatic reasons. 

Meanwhile, Adam arrived at the St John mansion to find the gates torn down and tyre tracks everywhere... 

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