Previous: Chapter 5
Sardec has travelled through the mountain for two hours. The tunnels seemed endless. His map system was useless. The only thing keeping him on track were the artificial lights left behind. Soon the tunnels became brighter as natural light shone through from the outside. He sighed from relief and hurried his way outside. Before his eyes was an exquisite piece of land. Large mushrooms towered over him, glistening in the moonlight. The floor was cracked with water running through. A large building stood in the center of the land, with several large mushrooms protruding from its rooftop, and green sac-like fungi hanging amongst its walls from below. A bright glow was coming from behind the building. Sardec knew that he had to investigate.
As he took six steps forward, he rolled behind a dark tree. Concealed by its shadow, he examined the approaching Digger. The Digger's antennas twitched, and it forced its jaw into the ground, pulling out a rock-like object with green patterns. The Digger walked to the other side of the area with the artifact in its mouth. The coast was clear and Sardec could proceed. Staying out of the sight of the creatures occupying the area, he made his way to the center building. He crawled underneath the green sacs and made his way to the other side. At his front, stood a pink tree-like structure. Behind it was a silver structure with a blue light at its top. He retreated behind one of the support beams of the center structure as he could see another humanoid figure nearby the silver building, clad in a hot red and green armor. The figure appeared to be repairing two turrets guarding the silver building.
"That must be the beacon." Sardec thought.
The large figure stood up and walked to its left, approaching a pool of lava. Sardec watched in awe as this figure slowly submerged itself and vanished.
Sardec pondered how to handle the situation. His Collapsar unit then started to float around him.
"Collapsar use is recommended."
"Hold on, what?"
"Danger is imminent. Collapsar may be of assistance."
The green sacs attached to the walls of the center structure began to vibrate. Small legs unfolded from the sacs and began to hiss. Sardec took several steps back and had his HUD identify these sacs as "Green Ladies". He grabbed the Collapsar unit and tossed it forward. The Green Ladies were sucked into the purple singularity. Resulting explosion jettisoned their entrails over the center structure, corroding the foundation at an alarming rate. Sardec made a mad dash away from the structure as it slowly tilted to its side. Many winged insects fled from the mushrooms at the rooftop. The foundation shattered, bringing the structure down to a crumble.
The other creatures were alerted by the sound and quake. The winged insects, idenfitied as "Black Mayflies", swarmed around Sardec.
"Cooldown time remaining: 12 seconds."
He fired the AUNC-2 Dawn in full auto, scrambling to clear a space, but only managing to kill several.
"Ready for use."
Collapsar was tossed directly in the air, drawing in every remaining Black Mayfly and destroying their anatomy. As the dust cleared, Sardec found himself surrounded by Diggers, Stalkers, and Tacorlions.
He equipped the FIW HolyStinger and charged forward, knocking down a couple of Stalkers and blasting them in the face. The Tacorlions raised their tails and launched their stingers. Sardec rolled out of the way, back onto his feet.
"Collapsar, cool down time?"
F-STD AnimusRipper in hand, Sardec backpedaled as he waited for the Collapsar unit's next available use. It was then that he received a transmission.
"Hello! Can you hear me?"
"Kellogg, I'm a little busy here."
"Listen closely. They were awaiting your arrival. The creature commanding them should be near. You must find it."
"It's certainly making itself comfortable out of my sight. Where is it?"
"I don't know. Continue killing its workers to draw attention. When you kill the creature, be ready."
"Be ready for what? Hello!? Damn it, the signal is gone!"
The Collapsar unit began to glow.
"Collapsar is ready for use."
Sardec began to run in a circular motion. The pursuing aliens mimicked his pathway, bringing them closer. Sardec tossed Collapsar behind, running close to it, tricking the aliens to come closer to the unit. He then jumped out of the way as the singularity collapsed, destroying every last hostile.
"Alright, the area is clear. This supposed creature should notice the dama-"
The ground began to tremble, opening a large hole, causing Sardec to fall in.
Sardec fell fifteen feet before landing flat on his stomach.
"S-S-Son of a... human, I guess." He coughed as he got back to his feet.
He took a look around at the cave he had fallen into. There was a rumble among the large cave mushrooms. They were pushed aside as a large lobster creature revealed itself. Sardec's HUD identified the creature as "Dead Eye". Its two large back antennas emitted bright neon blue lights and fired twin lasers. Sardec readied the Dawn and fired at Dead Eye's face, only for the bullets to bounce off of its shell. Dead Eye lunged across the cave, swiping its large claws forward, striking Sardec's armor and sending him several feet back. He fired the Dawn at Dead Eye's joints, but at little avail.
"What's wrong with this thing? Perhaps my weapons are too weak?"
Dead Eye turned toward Sardec, firing single laser shots from its six eyes. Sardec successfully dodged, suffering minor damage from the heat of the lasers. He switched to the Ripper and fired a few shots at Dead Eye's face, causing him to flinch. Sardec quickly climbed up its claws and onto its dorsal. He felt around on the antennas, learning they are not as heavily fortified. He grabbed the Dawn and fired several rounds into the tips of the antennas. Dead Eye shrieked in pain and charged forward, leapt up, and grabbed onto the ceiling, causing Sardec to fall back down to the ground.
From the ceiling, Dead Eye caused cuts into the ground, emitting thermal energy, burning Sardec's Eagle armor. His armor was now tattered and greater care was needed to be exercised. He watched closely at the patterns Dead Eye burned into the ground and stood clear of the cracks as the energy shot upward. He switched to the Ripper, firing at the joints. Dead Eye's gripped was weakened, causing it to fall to the ground. With Dead Eye stunned, Sardec equipped the HolyStinger and fired a couple shots at the antennas, causing them to overcharge. Dead Eye got back to its feet, redirecting the overcharge into its front claws. Sardec quickly ran perpendicular to Dead Eye's direction, narrowly escaping its accumulative cannon fire.
The creature let out a battle cry and stomped the ground, causing parts of the ceiling to collapse. It approached closer to Sardec, raising its mighty claw. Sardec leapt out of the way as the claw was brought down, causing more ceiling to collapse. He ran to the other side of the cave, as far from Dead Eye as possible. The creature was angry and charged forward. Sardec deployed Collapsar to the ground and made a mad dash out of the way. Dead Eye struck the wall, with its claw trapped within Collapsar's singularity. The explosion broke the claw, stunning the mighty lobster. Sardec approached the wounded creature. Dead Eye growled at him. Sardec holstered the Dawn and brought out the HolyStinger and Ripper, tossing both weapons into Dead Eye's mouth. He held up the Dawn and fired a single bullet at the HolyStinger's barrel, causing the energy to leak. He ran away from Dead Eye as the contents in its mouth overcharged, causing its head to burst into hundreds of pieces.
Sardec approached Dead Eye's corpse, searching for a security code. A rustle was heard from within the corpse. Sardec took a few steps back as a figure emerged from the corpse, outfitted in Dread armor, holding a purple shotgun. The humanoid fired at Sardec's chest, pushing him onto the ground.
"Vile creature. This vessel is beyond repair and you will pay the price."
Sardec reached for the Dawn, only for the humanoid to fire at the weapon, destroying it. It placed the barrel of the purple shotgun at Sardec's helmet, ready to fire a second shot. With a flick of his wrist, the Collapsar unit was tossed behind the figure, drawing it in and dropping the shotgun. The creature screamed in anger as the singularity collapsed upon him, reducing it to pieces.
Sardec got back to his feet and noticed a green cube attached to the shotgun. It detached and floated around Sardec, speaking in a feminine voice.
"User is deceased. New user detected. Updating personality module. Hello, Sardec! I am Hygeio, and your armor is in desperate need of repair!"
"Another one? More talkative, I see."
"I see you already have a VOID. That is unusual."
"Greetings", Collapsar said. "I am Collapsar."
"Do you repair the user's armor?"
"Collapsar does not specialize in that field."
"Wonderful. Then I can stay here?"
"I'm going to need all the help I can get out here" replied Sardec. "You can start my buffing out the scratches I have."
"I'm on it."
Sardec grabbed the purple shotgun, identified as "CPPS-I BloodMoon". He searched the pieces of the deceased humanoid and found a piece that resembles a torso. He examined it closely and found a sequence of symbols.
"This must be the code. Now to find a way back to the surface."
Sardec climbed back to the surface, his eyes were set on the security tower. As he approached, the two defense turrets activated and began firing at him. He ran for cover, behind the pink tree-like structure. He equipped the BloodMoon, popped himself out of cover, and fired at one of the turrets. Both turrets fired at his direction, thinning out his point of cover. He grabbed the Collapsar, ran out of cover, and tossed it toward the ground between the turrets, creating a hole in the ground from the explosion. Sardec ran past the turrets and jumped into the hole. The turrets, tracking his movement, were left firing at the middle area, blasting each other beyond repair.
With the turrets destroyed, Sardec crawled out of the hole, walked up the ramp of the tower, up to one of its doors. A security console lit up and he entered the code he found. Access was granted and the door opened up. As he entered, he found a small armory with two weapons remaining. He grabbed the assault rifle named TRIP-9654 StormHerald and the rocket launcher named LT6630 Eclipse. He proceeded to the console and shut off the security beacon. It was then that he received a transmission.
"Excellent work. Your services in this land are fulfilled. The data you extracted states that there should be a switch to activate a portal to the next beacon location."
"It says that? Did I really extract that much data?"
"You don't know the half of it. Now hurry to the next beacon!"
"Over and out."
Sardec activated the portal generator outside of the structure, opened the door, and stepped outside. He took one last look around the field before taking a step into the portal, vanishing.