Production Note: This is an old project TT-da-Lamanite and I worked on back in the day, and this is really his brainchild. Thought I'd dust off what we put together and give it a showing on FP. Cheers.



There was blood everywhere.

Only he could see now that it wasn't just blood. The color was too bright red, too runny. Cole had seen far more blood than anyone should ever have to see. The strange liquid drenching his hands now was certainly quite foreign to the blood he had seen spilt on many occasions past.

Nevertheless, there was work to be done, and time was of the essence. Using the last of his strength, he supported the prone figure through the dark hallway, his own limbs burning with pain. Pure adrenaline seemed to be the only force carrying him forward, and right now he had no idea where forward was. The last batch of terrors and guards had been dispatched, but he could already hear more coming. And these terrors were probably finishing off the guards anyway.

The enemy has got you running ragged, soldier!

The gruff voice of his Drill Instructor came rushing back to the forefront of Cole's mind. It seemed almost laughable right now. These were not the last thoughts he imagined would be floating through his head before he died.

If you don't focus, you WILL DIE!

The echoes seemed to snap some kind of urgency into Cole. He stood a little taller, his legs finding better stabilization as the body over his shoulder threatened to drag him down. His eyes followed the straight lines in the metal floor leading him forward. He could hear the pounding as more trouble came racing up out of the corridor behind him. Cole was surprised they hadn't taken shots at him yet.

Stop pitying yourself long enough to use the tools around you! I trained you better than THIS!

The ghost of a voice from his Drill Instructor made several dots connect in his head. Cole suddenly returned to his soldier mindset, and already the desperation was fading. This was just another battlefield, and countless hours of training had prepared him for this moment. Suddenly everything had purpose.

The girl over his shoulder groaned. Good. She was regaining consciousness. He would need her help soon. First, they needed temporary shelter. Then he could treat both their wounds and begin the next phase of his plan. All in good time.

"C'mon!" he growled, more to himself than her. "Get to that door!"

A square archway at the end of the hall revealed a chamber beyond, and more importantly, storage bays. The equipment here was very important; very expensive. Cole knew those bays were state of the art technology, perfected for housing tech that the designers would want kept safely out of reach. There would be no easy way of breaking in once the bays were locked down and sealed.

Which was precisely what he needed.

Cole growled, marching with every ounce of trained will into the new chamber, and finally over to the bay door. The one before him was already open, displaying a few crates scattered around an otherwise empty storage room. The walls gleamed silvery white, imbedded with security lights that told Cole his suspicions were accurate. This place was designed to be sealed tight and unless the proper keys were present, no one was getting in.

Limping the last few steps, he lowered the girl from his shoulder cautiously against one of the crates. Behind him, he could hear their opponents now in the hallway they had just exited. With little time left, Cole slammed his fist against the locking mechanism on the internal display panel, and the bay doors sealed shut with a resounding clash of metal. Air hissed as the crease sealed itself beyond recognition. Even arc-welders would have a time trying to get through this door now.

Waves of relief began to flood over Cole, and suddenly he felt very sleepy.

What is this?! Don't stop NOW! Don't ever let your guard down when the enemy is right ON TOP OF YOU!

Cole snapped back up. He couldn't let himself stop. Not now.

Step one. He checked the girl's pulse. It was steady, thank God, much better than it had been in the last chamber. But there was still a lot of blood, and he needed to tend to his own wounds as well. He ripped open the first crate, and found several bonding materials. Super-fibers were among them, which were universally perfect for makeshift bandages. He ripped open the plastic container, tearing several inches worth of sheets to wrap around his torso.

Something banged against the door from the other side. Cole paused, turning his attention back to the digital panel on the wall. They had barely left a dent. Good. He still had time.

He finished dressing his own wounds, which amounted to using up the entire fiber package. Damn. He searched the crate and found a second roll. After tearing it open, he set to work on the girl.

Her eyes bolted open the moment he applied pressure. She screamed out in bitter pain, arching her back against the crate. Cole had to hold her steady. He was astounded she was still going. Forgetting the blood loss, she had taken too many hits; too much of her porcelain skin had been shredded around her breasts.

"It hurts!" She cried out, tears streaking down her blood-encrusted cheeks. It looked almost purple in the bright blue security lights of the bay.

"I know, but I've got to stop the bleeding!" Cole growled. He pressed harder, and she screamed again. This time she really did go unconscious, her body falling sideways away from the support of the crate.

Cole swore as the super-fibers tore away from her wounds as she fell. He tried to reapply them, but the blood had already saturated the meta-material. It was useless for the time being. He tore open another crate, grateful to find more in transparent plastic packaging. Cole tore the first one he could reach open, and returned to where Evelyn lay on the floor.

Cole froze in his tracks the moment he laid eyes on her freshly opened wound.

"Holy shit…"