8 Chapter 7
Soon after the bullets started flying, recruits started screaming. Trace watched in horror as only feet away from him, Kathryn was hit while running away after dropping her rifle. Her upper body was practically vaporized, flesh and guts flying everywhere. But Kathryn was not the only recruit who died because of their fearful mistakes. In fact, after only the first ten seconds, over half the recruits were dead or dying.
Trace was suddenly glad for the vacuum option for his suit, as he sealed it and kept the stench of blood away from his nostrils. Although it was only ten seconds, to Trace it felt like hours. He found himself mesmerized as he watched recruits be shot down one after another, and another, and another…
Trace felt like he was going to be sick. That is, until he snapped himself out of it, realizing that not moving meant not living. Peeking his rifle around the corner of the shelf, Trace blind fired in what he hoped was the direction of the Martians. After a few seconds, Trace heard screams from the direction of where he was shooting and feared he'd accidentally shot another recruit.
Popping his head over the makeshift cover for a quick look, Trace saw… blood. So, so much blood. Part of his brain noticed and was relieved that he seemed to have hit no one but a Martian, but the rest of his brain quickly trampled that. Looking at the carnage, Trace found something deep inside himself growing… excited. An insatiable bloodlust.
Ducking back down, Trace completely forgot about his comrades as he once more began shooting around the corner, only for a bullet to very nearly hit him. Jerking back, Trace hesitated for only a moment before running to another piece of cover. Yet, contrary to what one may expect, Trace went to cover further up, instead of falling back.
Trace quickly popped his head and rifle around the rack he was using as cover, firing off a couple of rounds before a bullet ricocheted off the shelf right in front of his face. Trace kept shooting for only a moment longer before returning to the relative safety of cover. And then, without his gun firing right next to his head anymore, he heard it. Loud, metallic footsteps to his left. Looking over, Trace saw a glint of red armor before he was hit.
Dropping his gun, Trace pulled out his electro-knife and faced off with the Martian. The enemy marine seemed somewhat surprised momentarily, that is, before Trace threw the knife. Sticking cleanly into the helmet, Trace ran over and retrieved the knife. However, this was no longer Trace in control of his body. No, this was a creature of pure bloodlust.
Without even looking back for his rifle, Trace ran right out of cover, quickly running into someone. He stabbed them twice without remorse before moving on to the next person near him. Trace cocked his head upon seeing the person show confusion towards Traces open hostility, but after only half a second, Trace rushed forwards. This person had more fight than the previous ones, but still not enough. He attempted to block the slice with his rifle, but Trace feinted right before stabbing his leg.
As the marine fell onto on knee, Trace pulled his knife out again, quickly stabbing this person in the head. Moving on to the next people, Trace found himself growing more and more excited with each one he killed. No longer seeing any difference between friend or foe, he discriminately slaughtered. He noticed that he had lost his armor somewhere along the line, but he didn't care. He still had a weapon. He stabbed, cut, sliced, and diced his way through the marines. Eventually at some point he found himself outside the armory, but he didn't really mind. These hallways weren't yet soaked in blood. He was going to change that. And after only a few minutes, he did.
The frenzied creature named Trace continued fighting, and fighting, and fighting… until he passed out. After a while, he woke. "What the fuck happened…? And why am I so wet?" Trace said to himself, waking up with a pounding headache in some kind of pool. Opening his eyes, Trace was horrified to find… the ceiling had blood on it. Quickly sitting up, he looked around only to find that the previously pristine hallways of the base were now painted red, that corpses, intestines, guts, arms, legs, and even severed heads were strewn about randomly.
It took a few minutes, but Trace snapped out of his horrified state of mind, and instantly said "This is recruit Trace. Can anyone hear me?" However, he quickly noticed that he wasn't wearing his suit, meaning he had no radio. In fact, he wasn't wearing anything but a shredded uniform. And then Trace noticed. The reason he was so wet… is because he was soaked in blood. "No. No, no no no… this is a nightmare. Come on Trace, wake up!" He slapped himself a few times, only to accept his situation after a bit. He realized that this nightmare was actually reality.
It took a few tries, but Trace managed to stand up, before beginning to wander the halls. Everywhere he went, he found corpses. Corpses, corpses, corpses. It was disgusting, and Trace vomited until he had nothing left in him. After a while, Trace found himself outside a room labeled "Communications Hub", which for whatever reason had its doors wide open.
Walking inside, Trace saw a room full of consoles. Blood spattered consoles. Every one of them. Getting over his disgust, Trace walked up to one of the consoles and began interacting with it, before eventually managing to bring up a radio menu. Trace selected "Broadcast All Frequencies", before he began talking.
In a troop carrier far away, a captain was having a very bad day. One of the nearby training bases had sent out a mayday, but had been cut off within seconds. Better than that is the fact that the nearest Terran ship was his, and he was a six hour flight away. By then, the battle would be long over, and considering how lightly defended those bases are, the captain did not expect any survivors. He most certainly didn't expect his communications officer to tell him there was an incoming broadcast from the base.
Instantly, the bridge which was full of bustle and chatter only moments before became so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Taking in a deep breath, the captain said "Bring it on the main screen." Only second later, a massive holographic display popped up in the air at the front of the bridge, easily visible to all crew members.
On it, what looked like some kind of blood spattered demon was standing in a blood spattered room with corpses visible on the ground behind him. All that was missing was devilish horns, and the "demon from hell" look would be complete.
Everyone on the bridge took a sharp intake of breath upon seeing this… demon show up. And then it started talking.
"Uh, hello? Hi, not sure if this is working or not. Well, anyways… here's the thing. My name is Marine Recruit Trace Bellinger, and the last thing I can remember is me and a bunch of other recruits making a stand against the invading Martian marines. Oh yeah, that happened, by the way. Then, I blacked out or something. Next thing I knew, I woke up here, in this base. Except, it was different. When I blacked out these hallways were pristine and I was in full armor and gear, yet now, when I've woken up, these hallways are full of bodies and blood, and my armor is nowhere to be seen. I'm probably going to get a reprimand if this message is seen by someone high up, but seriously. What the ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON?!? Please, please come help me. I can't find anyone else alive in this base. I think I might be the last one alive. Please, someone, anyone, save me. Just get me the fuck out of here."
And then the message ended.
The bridge was stiflingly silent for a few moments. Then every member of the crew on the bridge broke out into uproar.
Back at the base, Trace had absolutely no clue what he'd done with his message, or how far it would go. But within minutes, one of the ensigns slipped off the bridge and uploaded a copy of the video to the Net. Soon after, the entire Net was in a state of panic, disgust, and awe. Panic that the Martians had attacked closer to Earth than ever before. Disgust at the massacre. And awe that this boy had somehow survived.
The government made a small attempt to suppress the video, and more so the fact that the video showed weakness in the Terran Union, but quickly gave up as the video has spread way too far to be easily dealt with by now.
After an hour, the T.U.C.(Terran Union Carrier)Andromeda arrived at the training base. Instantly a party of elite Terran Strike Marines were sent into the base, and what they found matched up with the video… and worse. Videos can't really truly show the horror of these events. Even these elite veterans who'd more than seen their share of massacres had never seen something this gruesome. When they found Trace, he was sitting in the Comm Room, practically twiddling his thumbs. When he saw the marines walk in, he jumped up yelling in joy, but was immediately detained. They had no idea if Trace even was who he said he was, and so every precaution was taken. Trace didn't care though. He was just happy to leave that blood covered hell-hole.
When they arrived back on the ship, Trace was marched straight to solitary confinement. Although none of these marines agreed with it, orders were orders. However, in the way one of them thought of it, they weren't specifically ordered to keep this op classified, so he uploaded his armor cam footage to the Net. Once again, this footage spread just as fast, if not faster, than the first video. The public was outraged. Back on Earth, and even on most of the colonies that had been established on asteroids, there was protests. The public cried for Trace to be released, while the government denied that he was taken prisoner. Pretty soon riot police were deployed to keep the public in check. During his whole rise to extreme fame, Trace was just sitting in his pitch black cell, attempting to figure out what happened.
For the entirety of the 10 hour flight to Earth, Trace was left untouched in his cell. Untouched, and unknown. No one except the marines and high ranking crew knew which cell Trace was even in.
After what seemed like years of sitting in the dark, small, confines of his cell, the door opened. As Trace covered his eyes against the beams of light coming from the open door, he heard a gruff voice say "Get up. There's some people who want to meet you."