Pine Gap Teaser 06(d) – An Inescapable Conclusion

This is the final episode in Pine Gap Teaser 06 and I promise today to be more considerate of your stomach. However, if you are a glutton for punishment feel free to check out part one , part two or part three once more.

Again they rode in silence, both officers mentally digesting the impossible horrors they had just witnessed and preparing themselves to inspect the final piece of the puzzle.

Thankfully there were no rigor-mortised remains to punish the senses on level seventy-two, only the twisted metal, shattered electrics and concrete destruction wrought by the fury of the invader. Katana shook her head in disbelief at the damage.

“Was it a bomb?”

“Nope. Stone Gollum.”

“You mean one creature did all this?”

“A Stone Gollum is a pretty big creature Major.”

Katana had never seen such a beast and she momentarily pondered on its destructive power. Finally she asked the question that had been burning on her mind since hurling on her commander’s boots.

“So what is the pattern Colonel?”

Drax kicked a small chunk of cement sending it skipping across the rubble and off into the darkness. When the echos ceased he answered her.

“Ok, the wriggling heap of maggots on level thirty was discovered fresh five days ago.”

“Right.”

“The half-man, half-prison cell on level forty-four appeared three days ago.”

“Gotcha.”

“The hanging nudist was heard screaming two days ago.”

“Ye-es”

Katana was starting to understand the sequence that would lead to Gabriel’s ultimate conclusion.

“And today a Stone Gollum magically emerged from thin air.”

“Our invaders are getting better at this aren’t they sir.”

“Damn straight Major.”

Drax looked back at the destroyed remnants of level seventy-two one last time, lost in his own musings. They only fly in the ointment was the Nat he found this morning. It was half buried in the floor yet, if it had followed the pattern he just showed Major May, it should have been running around on all six legs spitting poison at everyone.

“All I can think is that because level sixteen is such a larger space than the rest, they screwed up their coordinates.”

He had spoken that last thought out loud and Katana had heard him.

“What do you mean by ‘coordinates’ Colonel?”

“Just mulling over some ideas Major. Lets go chat to some of the inmates and see what they know.”

Pine Gap © Matthew Green 2004

Pine Gap Teaser 06(c) – The Horror

Bacon and eggs for breakfast? I wouldn’t 😉 Here’s part three and if you really want to avoid the fried food, check out part one and part two again.

The two officers traveled in silence until they reached level fifty-eight. As they embarked the car Gabriel commented to Katana,

“Do you have your handkerchief handy Major?”

Without a second thought she placed the scented cloth against her nose. As soon as she rounded the southern corner of the elevator shaft she saw what they had come to find. Hanging from the ceiling by his head was a naked man. His body was twisted and contorted in agony, but otherwise he was anatomically perfect. Five twos on either foot, two legs, male genitalia, hips, stomach, fingers, hands, arms, shoulders and neck were all exactly where they should be. His chiseled chin jutted forward from a jaw full of white teeth and his nose was straight. But that’s where the man ended and the roof began. The bridge of his nose, his eyes, the top of his ears, his forehead and cranium were encased in the ceiling cement. Blood had trickled from his nostrils, dribbled onto his chest and congealed. In death he had vacuated his bowels leaving a disgusting pool of excrement on the floor and dried faeces clinging to the hair on his legs. Drax leaned forwards to examine his fingers. The nails on each hand had been torn and his fingertips were raw and bloody.

“What do you think happened to his hands Colonel?”

Drax pulled a small, high-powered torch from his pocket and shone it at the ceiling. The concrete in the roof around the victim’s head had scratch marks on it. He spoke more to himself than to Major May when he replied.

“Looks like he tried to dig his face out of the roof before he died.”

Katana was absolutely perplexed.

“This is getting ridiculous Colonel. How the hell can this happen to a person?”

“I’m not sure Major but I think I see a pattern emerging.”

“What sort of pattern sir?”

“One more level to inspect and I’ll tell you.”

Coming soon Pine Gap Teaser 06(d) – An Inescapable Conclusion

Pine Gap © Matthew Green 2004

Pine Gap Teaser 06(b) – Cadaver Glue

Sorry about ruining your breakfast last week. Perhaps you should read this before eating 😉

Colonel Gabriel Drax and his queasy companion, Major Katana May, headed back to the elevator shaft and plunged deeper into the bowels of Pine Gap.

As they past the thirty-first floor Gabriel’s forehead tingled with a strange sensation that was vaguely familiar, but the pins and needles in his brain were only short-lived. By level thirty-five Katana’s nausea had subsided and the two officers were in a reasonable mood.

“Is it like this all the way to the bottom Colonel? Swapping every five floors?”

“Yep. Tedious isn’t it.”

The pair shared a smile.

Gabriel stopped the car on level forty-four and turned south. A miasmal stench made the air heavy like thick, transparent smog and Katana raised her hand to her throat as if choking on the noxious fumes.

“Am I going to be sick again Colonel?”

“Probably.”

A short distance from the elevators he found what he was looking for. The naked body of another humanoid was welded into the back wall of an empty prison cell. The creature’s entire left hand side protruded from the smooth concrete surface whilst the right was lost from existence and presumably part of the mortar. The only clue to the fact that it had been alive upon arrival at Pine Gap was the look of horror and intense pain, permanently etched on its dead face. What the poor being must have experienced in its last moments could only be imagined.

The severely bloated corpse was well into the second stages of decomposition. Its swollen tongue poked grotesquely from decaying lips like a zombie blowing a raspberry while greedy, fat larvae crawled in the vacant eye sockets. The carcass was so distended that it threatened to explode at any moment, covering the officers in vile putrefaction.

“Hold the torch please Major. I want a closer look at where this thing has come from.”

Katana shone the light where instructed, her hands quivering slightly as she fought off the almost overwhelming desire to regurgitate. There was no damage to the structure. No evidence of a hidden passage. No visible hint as to the origin of this nightmare. Gabriel took out his knife and cut the skin nearest to the cement. A rancid gas that smelled like a mixture of methane and rotten eggs hissed from the open wound enveloping the officers in a cloud of malodorous fragrance.

“Look at that Major. The body doesn’t go into the wall. It just stops. Have you ever seen anything like that before?”

Katana could contain herself no longer and began vomiting profusely, splashing Gabriel’s boots in the process. So much for the spit polish shine. When she had finished retching he handed her his handkerchief. It had been dipped in Eucalyptus oil and offered her a more pleasant alternative to the fetid reek of the wall-mounted remains. Eventually she was able to speak.

“How can this be Colonel?”

“I wish I knew Major. Lets get out of here.”

Coming soon Pine Gap Teaser 06(c) – The Horror

Pine Gap © Matthew Green 2004

Pine Gap Teaser 06(a) – Maggoty Goodness.

It’s been ages since I shared anything from my novel, but now that the cowardly critic has crawled back under his or her rock, here’s teaser number six. In this four-part episode, Colonel Gabriel Drax and Major Katana May are investigating some of the horrors lurking in the depths of Pine Gap. Better switch the nightlight on guys 😉

The elevator doors opened onto level thirty and the two officers exited the car. Katana began heading toward the southern end of the complex but was called back by her superior officer.

“There’s nothing nasty over there Major. Come with me instead.”

He led her down the silent corridor past the rows of empty cells. There was a faint smell of rotting meat in the air that began to get stronger the further north they walked. Katana noticed movement on the floor in front of them and drew her pistol.

“Relax Major. Its already dead.”

The erratic motion that Katana saw was in fact the writhing bodies of a million maggots, squirming and feasting on the bloodied remains lying in the corner of the floor and the northern wall. Involuntary peristalsis made her gag before speaking.

“Oh yuck! That’s disgusting. What died here Colonel?”

“No one is exactly sure Major. A Tullimbar patrol reported finding a lump of flesh, which was later identified as the back of a bipedal humanoid, lodged in the wall here five days ago.”

Gabriel scraped some of the worms away from the wriggling pile and exposed the white bones of a spinal column. The smell was indescribable and Katana was forced to swallow the bile rising in her throat.

“Who was it Colonel?”

“No one from here Major.”

“Where did it come from?”

Drax just shook his head.

“Lets move on.”

“Yes please.”

Coming soon Pine Gap Teaser 06(b) – Cadaver Glue

Pine Gap © Matthew Green 2004

Pine Gap Teaser 04 – In The Wine, Is Truth!

A lot of people have asked me whether anything nice happens to the characters in my book. I suppose with all the giant spiders, Sand Sharks and rotting corpses, you’d be right to assume that this is a horror novel: but its not. Please find a short paragraph or two below that shows the interaction between our hero and his love interest. Don’t worry, its G-rated 🙂

Colonel Gabriel Drax and Lilakoi Paige enjoyed a marvelous lunch of lasagna, crusty garlic bread and a crisp Mediterranean salad. The Cabernet Merlot was perhaps not the best choice of wine to accompany such a meal, but it was smooth and subtle with a hint of chocolate; and it tasted divine.

The conversation this time was a lot more friendly and relaxed. Lilakoi had decided to stop trying to deflect Gabriel’s attentions and Gabriel had decided not to give up trying. It was a win / win situation.

They were only interrupted twice. Once was by Admiral Dargan who was wanting ‘results, where are my results’ but he quickly departed when he realised that Drax was present within her quarters. The other was from Lieutenant Schiffiletti who was informing the Colonel that the training grounds had been reconfigured for the afternoon’s rematch. Neither interjection warranted any immediate course of action by either party.

They were sitting together on the lounge and, as the Colonel opened the second bottle of wine, Lilakoi suddenly felt the urge to open herself up to him.

“Yesterday I acted like a total bitch toward you and I’m sorry!”

Drax topped off her glass.

“In vinum veritas.”

“What does that mean?”

He wiped the drop from the lip of the bottle with his finger and placed it into his mouth.

“In the wine, is truth.”

“But nothing I said over lunch yesterday was truthful. My mother isn’t dead and I really do remember the day we first met. I was just being nasty.”

“I was talking about today. You just admitted being a bitch, in vinum veritas.”

He clinked her glass and sat next to her. That was twice today he had got her with his wicked sense of humour and she loved it. She wriggled down the couch to be so close to him that their hips touched. She put his hand on his knee and spoke again.

“You know I had two very good reasons for wanting to get rid of you yesterday.”

“Oh really! And what were they?”

“I am incredibly busy working on a top secret project for the Admiral.”

He motioned to speak but she cut him off.

“Please don’t ask. I am told that if I divulge my work to anyone other than Dargan that I would be akin to committing treason. Now whether that’s true or not I don’t care. If I get brought up on charges… well that alone would be enough to destroy my parent’s reputation.”

“Fair enough. What’s the second reason?”

“Its my eyes.”

“What’s wrong with them? Don’t you think they’re blue enough?”

She sighed heavily and drank some wine before replying.

“You can be so exasperating some times. Can’t you see there’s three of them?”

Gabriel knelt on the floor in front of Lilakoi and removed his eye patch. He placed her free hand on the side of his face and let her do the rest. Lilakoi gently touched the faded scaring around the burnt and broken socket with her warm soft hands and Drax was in heaven. She ran her fingers along the indentations in his skin caused by the elastic of the patch, to the damaged eyelid and when she accidentally brushed against the hard crystal implant that occupied the space where a soft moist eyeball should be, she flinched involuntarily.

“Its funny isn’t it?”

“What is Gabriel?”

“How you have three eyes and I only have one eye, yet with four eyes in total we are exactly the same as every other humanoid couple out there.”

Lily placed a hand either side of Gabriel’s face and leaned in so close he could feel her breath on his lips. Now was the perfect opportunity for him to steal a kiss, but he hesitated a second too long and Lilakoi spoke.

“That’s probably the corniest thing I have ever heard.”

“Its true though. In vinum veritas.”

Lilakoi gave him a sultry half-smile and as she drew him closer her eyes screamed ‘come to bed’.

“I think we’ve both had enough vinum don’t you?”

Pine Gap © Matthew Green 2004