Phillips scans the area with his pistol cocked, an eerie silence seems to surround us, “I can’t stop wondering how did something this big get in here? This place is a fortress, they’re absolutely buttoned up like sardines in here. This reptilian thing has got to be at least 8 feet tall, probably weighing around 600 pounds. No way it just walked in here without being detected and doing this kind of damage. There also had to be more than one," as he looks about the blood-spattered room. "We better make sure this place is clear,” he says.
I pick up an assault rifle from one of the dead security guards and shove a clip into it. We start checking carefully room to room, ready for one of these monstrosities to show itself, but only to find more dead bodies, human flesh completely torn apart. They were obviously shown no mercy as many had terrible wounds in their backs, probably from running for their lives. There was no place to hide, the fear they experienced before their deaths must have been so overwhelming.
My many years on the battlefield helped me get past this horrifying scene. I had seen many dead bodies in the cities and villages of men, woman, and the worst was seeing children. Being a woman this was especially painful. I’ll never get over that experience, all of that left me hardened and indifferent. But I knew being a soldier meant dealing with death on a level that most other people would never have to.
I follow Phillips into the security room, monitors are stacked in rows. “Let me check something out,” Phillips examines a section of controls that aren’t damaged, “Maybe I can get security camera footage up to find out exactly what did happen here.”
I look over his shoulder, “You think you can get it up?”
“I think you better rephrase that,” with a twinkle in his eye.
I slap his shoulder. "“Silly, I love how you can soothe me and lighten the mood quickly.”
I assure you, it’s a very unused talent," he says
“Well, I love it!” I squeeze his arm and he responds with that gorgeous smile of his.
After a few minutes, “Okay, I got this figured out,” Phillips hits the play button. We carefully watch the security video from several camera views. “Well everything looks normal so far,” Phillips lights a cigarette.
He checks, sub level number 7 cameras. One of the monitors shows a group of soldiers coming in from a stairway. One of which looks up at the camera, that’s when I notice something strange about his eyes. Not quite sure what it is, but they seem kind of soulless, maybe nothing, probably just my imagination.
“We haven’t even checked those lower levels yet,” Phillips says. We watch these soldiers go into the main gun station. They make eye contact with the Gunnery officer who stands up in front of them. Suddenly an alarm goes off and the gun crew suddenly start sounding off target coordinates. “Looks like the crew are trying to target something,” Phillips remarks. Then suddenly the cameras go offline.
“Damn it!” Phillips pounds the desk, he checks some power meters. “Okay something happened to the power, back up generators must of kicked on afterward. But for whatever reason, the security cameras stayed down.”
Tillman surfaces from another room with a sandwich in his hand, "Hey there’s a kitchen back here. This bunker is huge, there’s an elevator back here too! I couldn’t open it because it needs a code to get in.”
Tillman never ceases to amaze me, I can’t believe this fat bastard, it’s practically a freaking morgue in here and he’s having lunch! No respect for the dead!
Phillips checks the kitchen area, “There’s a big walk-in refrigerator back here.”
Tillman chewing like the slobbering pig that he is, “Yeah, there’s even like a mess hall and everything.”
I can see the cog wheels turning in Phillips head, “What are you thinking?” I ask.
“If we move these bodies to the refrigerator we can make this place livable for an over night stay at the very least,” he says.
“Very resourceful, I like that. Better than a fox hole right?” I remark.
He glances over catching my meaning, “I don’t know, that foxhole wasn’t so bad, having to share body heat and all that. Neither one of us wanted to leave it, remember?”
We can only smile at each other with that light flirtation before having to turn our attention at the gruesome task at hand. Viewing someone who was once alive and then instantly reduced to a pile of bones and meat has always haunted me. So it was an ordeal moving the remains of the bunker crew and guards. Mostly because of the ghastly way they were killed.
Moving the Reptilian was a special challenge, because of its size and weight. But Phillips found a small crane in the maintenance area to hoist the heavy body to move it to the icebox. Amazingly within a few hours we manage to get the bunker into some kind of livable shape. I suddenly feel exhausted, so I drop my rear into the gunnery operator’s seat to rest a bit while Phillips and Tillman finish up. I’m so tired and sore, all I just wanted to do is sit back and rest a minute. After all that trudging through thick snow my arms and legs feel so heavy.