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Ghostworld by Green Simon R

Ghostworld by Green Simon R

Author:Green, Simon R. [Green, Simon R.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Science Fiction, Space Opera
ISBN: 9781936535040
Publisher: Jabberwocky Literary Agency
Published: 2013-08-18T16:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER SEVEN

* * *

Guardians

THE marines moved cautiously down the metal stairway, scowling into the gloom below. The guns in their hands swept constantly back and forth, covering every direction an attack could come from. Diana supposed she should find such obvious expertise comforting, but instead it just reminded her of the possible dangers ahead. It almost made her wish she carried a gun of her own. Almost. She was an esper, not a killer. She stuck as close behind the marines as she could without crowding them, holding her lamp high to spread its light as far as possible. Huge shadows moved around them like watching ghosts, but everything else was still and silent.

They’d found the elevator shown on the floor plan, which could have taken them down to the next floor, but none of them had felt like risking it. They had no idea why it was still working when so many other things weren’t, and it was only too easy to imagine the elevator breaking down between floors, leaving them trapped in a steel coffin while the air ran out. So they made their way slowly down the stairs, nerves tingling in anticipation of an attack that never came.

It was cold in the stairwell, and getting colder. Hoarfrost made patterns on the walls that teased the eyes with hints of meaning. Their breath steamed on the still air, and the heating elements in their uniforms somehow weren’t enough to keep the chill out of their bones. Their footsteps rangloudly on the metal steps, and the sound seemed to echo an unnaturally long time in the hush.

Diana knew she should be using her esp to check ahead, but she couldn’t bring herself to do that. Not yet. The scan in the lobby had been hard enough, when she’d feel safe and secure. But now that she’d come down into the heart of the darkness, she was afraid to send her mind out for fear it might not come back. She was afraid there was something down there in the dark with them, and she didn’t want to risk waking it again. Sometimes she thought it was an alien, and sometimes she thought it might be ghosts of the dead personnel, but all she really knew for sure was that she was scared. So scared that even the awful forms her imagination conjured up were preferable to encountering the real thing again. It was safer to lie to herself and hide in the dark with the marines.

They finally reached the bottom of the staircase, and stood close together at the foot of the steps. To their right, a thick coating of ice almost covered the sign saying LEVEL TWO. The marines and the esper ignored it, their gaze fixed on what the esper’s lamplight revealed before them. The corridor walls bulged and seethed with ugly alien growths, and thick strands of shimmering webbing hung down from the ceiling, twisting and turning slowly as though in response to an unfelt breeze.



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