Far in the future...an urgent distress signal is received from a classified Union Aerospace Corporation research facility based on Olduvai, Mars -- and is suddenly silenced. Assigned to either contain or quarantine the mysterious threat, a crack strike team comprised of the most hard-bitten marines around believes that this will be another routine seek-and-destroy mission. But they will soon come face-to-face with the hellish nightmares that the researchers' unorthodox experiments have unleashed on Olduvai -- a place where doom is waiting....
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October 27, 2005
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Excerpt from Doom by John Shirley
A dark corridor, deep underground. A single shriek, quickly cut off. The sound of running feet, coming closer...
Pounding down the corridor, Dr. Todd Carmack couldn't see his pursuers, couldn't hear them, couldn't smell them, not here -- but he knew they were behind him, gaining ground on him and the other five scientists.
Oh yeah: the things were solid enough, loud and reeking enough, and murderous enough -- one of them had stood over him, as he lay on his back in the lab, dripping drool on him, gnashing its teeth in anticipation, a lab technician's raggedly severed arm still clutched in its talons. Carmack had pulled the limp, semiconscious Dr. Norris onto him, putting Norris between him and that thing -- it had to go through Norris's body first, and that had given Dr. Carmack a moment to scramble away and start the headlong flight down this corridor. But Norris's sobbing screams still echoed around Carmack's skull -- they seemed to echo down the corridor and up through level on level of the labs; despairing screams shivering over the archaeological digs, reverberating across the poisoned surface of the planet Olduvai.
Legs and arms pumping, sweat streaming down his face, Carmack figured he was going to die of a heart attack before he got to that heavy door. He was sixty fucking years old, for God's sake. His thudding heart was trying to climb out of his chest; and every breath slashed his lungs like the scalpels he'd used on the subjects in the lab.
He seemed to see the terrified eyes of the lab animals, now, coming out of the darkness ahead...
Ten more strides ahead, a fluctuating pool of light waited, threatening to cut out with the flickering of the fluorescent bulb illuminating the door: the door to safety. If there was any safety on this goddamned planet.
He risked a look over his shoulder, saw the other scientists running in and out of the intermittent shadow; a middle-aged woman in a white lab coat, Dr. Tallman, was several strides behind Carmack.
His assistant, Dexter, a spindly awkward man, face contorted with terror -- was taking up the rear, slowing down now, hobbling, clutching his left leg. A cramp. And then something swept blurrily from the shadows to one side, a dark, strangely rippling arm encircled Dexter's waist and jerked him screaming into the darkness. A blink, and he was simply gone...
Carmack stumbled, facing front and just managing not to fall headlong, knowing he'd be weeping with fear if he had the wind to do it with. He flung himself against the door, just as the light overhead started sparking, hissing...about to go out.