Bunker Zero

A Short and Gory Horror Story

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In 1992, Hrvoje Lukatela identified "Point Nemo," the most isolated spot in the South Pacific at 48° 52′ 32″ S, 123° 23′ 33″ W. Ducie Island and Motu Nui Island, both about 2,688 km away, are the closest landmasses, with Easter Island just 1 km northeast of Motu Nui.

The International Space Station occasionally orbits directly over Point Nemo due to its higher inclination, making it the nearest inhabited place, only 400 km away—in space. This place in the ocean is quite literally the middle of nowhere.

About twenty kilometers to the east of Point Nemo lies an undocumented manmade structure that was built in [redacted] by a coalition of scientists from the Stapleclip era. It was built to withstand the worst of the worst, and it has. It is called Bunker Zero.

On Sunday, in the sky above Bunker Zero, dark clouds had begun to gather as though signaling the beginning of a storm. Lightning flashed through the cloudy skies, lighting up the night in short bursts, casting a momentary glow on the structure below. One of these bursts of lightning lit up the sky and a tiny airplane could be seen whooshing though the night. The wind howled, making the small plane sway side to side.

The bunker had been designed not to keep people out, but to keep something in. The scientists had been very clear about that. The bunker was a prison for one entity only; a cage for the demon child, the devil.

Far, far above the bunker, the transport plane's rear hatch opened, and a dozen soldiers who had sardined into the transport vehicle (at very, very short notice) shuffled up, ready to leap out with their parachutes. A HALO jump, high altitude, low opening. The plane was flying at 30,000 feet, and the soldiers would open their chutes at 2,000 feet. All black silhouettes, they leapt out one by one, disappearing into the chasm below.

Twelve soft thuds on the structure later, the plane was empty. The pilot turned the plane around and headed back to base, as were his orders. The exfil wasn't his problem. The team of twelve was handpicked from high-caliber military outfits; the callsigns of the soldiers were the names of the months. The leader, June, was the last to land, tucking, rolling and disposing of the parachute in a fluid motion. She carried specific but simple orders for her team: kill the devil.

Multiple teams of scientists studying the region around Point Nemo had decided to raise the devil child in Bunker Zero. The devil child, called commonly by his nomenclature-specific nickname, Axel, had been found a quarter of a century ago at the crash site of a meteor in Australia. Expecting a benevolent Superman-like figure, the world had been shocked to find out the child held no supernatural powers they could detect, and his heart was tainted with bloodlust. Unable to figure out what to do with him, they built the structure in the middle of nowhere and locked him up.

Till last week.

On Thursday, there was a panic button false alarm at Bunker Zero. On Friday, there was a real alarm. On Saturday, the scientists stopped responding to communications. On Sunday, June and her team leapt into the abyss.

There was no information about anything. There had been over fifty scientists and over a hundred soldiers stationed at Bunker Zero. The only thing that was known was that the humanoid Axel was missing.

Bunker Zero is a square, squat building akin to a oil rig in the middle of the ocean, with a super-high-security prison cell housed at the heart of the structure. There is a large helipad on which the team of soldiers was vying to land. Labs, security staff lodging, living quarters etc. were all arranged in a matchbox arrangement around the cell, to keep it - and its occupant - in full view at all times. Axel, the dangerous alien-child-boy grew up in this extraordinary environment, and the scientists had been studying him for years.

According to June's notes, Axel was humanoid, quite alike the average human except for his eyeballs, which were black, and his pupils, which where a stark white. He had a full head of snowy hair, and his skin was a pale translucent film. He was about 5'11" and weighed 180 pounds. He had been locked up for a little over 25 years (Earth time).

Bunker Zero was dead silent. The storm was already brewing outside. June and her team made their way inside the bunker, December on point. As December pushed through the main door with his carbine leading the way, June checked a small pack attached to the back of her tactical uniform webbing, taking care not to let anyone see. The rest of the team was unaware of her secondary objective on this mission.

They were all carrying live ammunition, ready to kill Axel. June was carrying a special-grade super-Thermite bomb, ready to blow up the entire structure sky-high; also if needed. They had been given the order to kill the devil, but she had been given the option to blow up the entire structure if it became unavoidable...

The power was out in the whole building. Night vision goggles donned, the team made steady progress into the inner sanctum. "Holy SHIT!" someone yelled from the lineup, and the twelve soldiers went high alert. "There's bodies everywhere... blood and gore, boss!" In the dark, June sidled up to the front of the line fast and took off her NVGs. "Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." She forced her heart to stop thundering against her ribcage and gave the order to use flashlights.

Click. Click. Click. One by one, all of their rifle flashlights came on, bobbing up and down in web of white and yellow beams. What should have been just concrete and metal was instead reflected back as red and maroon splashes, splotchy and ruinous in the strange lighting. "What the fuck..." came several whispers from the group.

June's hand jumped to her comms switch, and she barked, "Converge on the cell, STAT!"

The team responded to her command smoothly, falling back into formation and proceeding even deeper, past the bloody walls and floors, toward the cage of Axel.

June felt a cold, hard ice cube in the pit of her stomach. Something was wrong. She had known the [redacted] government had long harbored secret repositories of otherworldly artefacts. But this... a being of this kind...

As a college student, June had come across exciting and horrific theories about creatures like us, homo sapiens, existing outside of the Earth. The Fermi Paradox, the Berserker Hypothesis, the Kardashev civilization scale. It came back to her in a flash, alerting her lizard brain to an even more existential threat.

The dormant thermite bomb seemed to grow warmer on her hip. I can't let this fucker leave here alive.

"Double time!" she barked again, sensing the panic at the edges of her mind. They hurried through the wet and slimy corridors. How was there even so much blood? One of the soldiers retched and held back, joining the team after a moment.

They got to the cage. "Aw, man." The hackles of every soldier went up, a cold shiver running down their bodies. "Boss...?"

June looked ahead, aghast, to see the gate of the cage wrenched open like tinfoil. And everything was covered... in bodies and body parts. Lab coats, security uniforms, arms and ankles and faces and digits strewn about in a haphazard pile. Near the bottom of the pile, something moved. Her rifle clicked sharply, and she immediately brought the pile in her sights. Her team did the same.

"Fall team, cover the rear." The corresponding months moved to secure the way they had come in here, and she was left with seven soldiers. A loose lower half of someone's face fell of the human flesh pile and one of the soldiers at the far side of the room let loose a bullet, panicked.

"Hold fire, shit! Shit!" June was losing control of the situation fast, and she hated it. But then something very strange happened in the span of a short couple of seconds.

The soldier who had fired suddenly spun around as though in a blender, and his body whipped against the back wall, almost exploding on impact, sliding down the wall and leaving a bloody mush behind.

The team erupted in gasps and, as she saw movement at another corner of the bloody human parts pile, June finally lost it. "FIRE! Fire!!!!!"

Screams and gunfire lit up the room for a brief series of moments before a foreboding silence made its way back. The lights in the room went off and came back on again. "Did... did I get him? May? March? You guys hit him at all?"

"I think I got it. Shit."

"Yo, me too. Fuck. Holy fuck."

June was shuddering from the adrenaline that had flooded her brain. No... No...

The pile moved. Another burst of screaming and gunfire followed. Silence again. "Hey March? March?" But March had already lost all her limbs and was sliding down a different corner of the pile in the dark room.

June took four steps back and stepped on a rogue eyeball, squelching it under her boot. What the hell is all this? she wanted to scream. The rest of her soldiers began to do the same. There were only three of them left... how???

She triggered her comms button. "Fall team, come in. Fall team." Nothing. Fear gripped June's throat, forcing her to breathe manually. The thermite bomb felt radioactive next to her combat uniform. Ah, shit.

A slow, wet slurping sound filled the room. The cage bars trembled. An inhuman wail came from the right corner of the cage. Outside the cage. The bodies and body parts gave way, and a pale shape spilled out.

Axel.

The humanoid unfolded himself to stand upright. His body rippled with muscles, not a single hair on the smooth silvery skin, which was almost translucent. The hair was spattered with blood, but still snowy, swept back as the creature stared at the heavens, wailing louder. The body was contoured with superb skeletal muscles, and his physique seemed to be lifted directly from the best rock climbing or swimming model catalogues. Where his genitalia might have been was a strip of smooth skin. She wondered what the hell that was all about.

Then she realized. Oh.

His purpose is not to procreate. His purpose is to destroy.

Axel had thrown his head back, standing to his full height of nearly six feet. He wailed mournfully again. And again. He seemed to be stricken with some kind of tragic misgiving. His skin glimmered, the silvery sheen aglow in the flickering lights.

He. June made a note to herself about how she had been referring to the being all this time, and how she had been defaulting to a more human pronoun. Was it because he was wailing like a human? Was it the humanoid appearance?

The guttural wail turned into a low, rumbling growl. Axel's head snapped down, and he looked at June. Black eyes, white pupils. She pulled the trigger.

Fwap! Fwap! Fwap! Fwap! bullets flew out of her rifle. Axel didn't move, but the air surrounding him seemed to shimmer and distort. He appeared to lean very quickly to the left, and in a blur, he disappeared!

June had been to a shop in Indonesia once where a salesman had tried to sell her a beautiful fan by waving it near her face. A soft breeze had caressed her cheek, and she had been sold. Axel's movement was like that, but a thousand times faster. And now she felt the breeze on her cheek again. Axel! How had he reached her so fast? She realized that he was already in motion, his arm swinging rapidly toward her face. Barely managing to get her arm up to block the blow, she took the full brunt of the hit and was flung back.

Axel wailed again. It sounded pitiful. Was he in pain? Was he even breathing?

The thermite throbbed at her side. Heaving hard from the blow, she struggled to move around, reaching for the bomb. She grabbed it and yanked at the power chord to activate its timer. There wasn't a way to stop it once it was activated.

February and July, both ex-wrestling SEAL buddies built like tanks, were back to back, scanning the room with their rifles. The air shimmered again, and there Axel was, standing in front of them. He wailed again, and July's head exploded. February's rifle was already up and firing, but with a soft fwoosh, Axel disappeared again. A bloody hand stuck out from the middle of February's sternum, and he was suddenly lifted off the ground, screaming, flailing. Axel's other hand appeared from inside February's belly, and he was torn in half, his body falling to the ground in two pieces.

Having seen it happen so many times, June realized what was happening. Axel wasn't disappearing and reappearing, he was simply running around at such speeds that it was impossible for them to follow it with their naked eyes. He was moving so fast that he was leaving behind a blurry afterimage. Fwoosh!

There was no time to get off Bunker Zero. There had been no exfil; this was always the plan. Contain and kill the demon child. Twelve people and one bomb.

00:00:27

Axel was kneeling near her. His face was contorted in pain, the skin almost on fire with shame. June couldn't even lift her rifle. She just stared at this perfect abomination. Is he from a type IV civilization? A people so advanced that they can manipulate cosmic energy at will?

00:00:20

Fwoosh! June was jerked back into the wall with an inhuman force. Axel had pressed a palm casually into the middle of her face and was now forcing her head into the brick, millimeter by millimeter. She began to flail and claw at his arms. Nothing.

00:00:15

The thermite bomb had captured Axel's attention however, and he continued to squeeze her into the wall, gripping her face. But he was looking intently at the bomb.

00:00:10

June felt a new kind of horror as her eyeballs began to pop out of their sockets. No! NO! The facility was filled with sounds of June whimpering and crying.

00:00:05

Axel gently threw his head back, the white hair falling down gracefully. Something in his belly rumbled, and his maw opened up to the heavens.

00:00:04

June's head exploded, and the facility went quiet.

00:00:00

Axel wailed.


NEWS REPORT: BUNKER ZERO, MONDAY

Reports say that the entire team of scientists and soldiers stationed at the secret base known as Bunker Zero have been killed. The bodies were found in a gruesome state, with limbs and organs strewn about the facility. The cause of death is unknown, but the government has released a statement saying that the team was killed by a rogue alien entity that had been kept in the facility for study. The entity has been killed, and the facility has been destroyed. The government has refused to comment on the nature of the entity, but sources say that it was a "humanoid combat alien". The government has also refused to comment on the nature of the research being conducted at Bunker Zero. One spokesperson has also cautioned that the term Bunker Zero is not entirely accurate, as nothing seems to have really happened, and that we should all move on from this story.


NEWS REPORT: EASTER ISLAND, TUESDAY

Fishermen off the coast of Easter Island have reported seeing a strange, pale humanoid figure swimming in the ocean. The figure was seen swimming away from the island, toward the open ocean. The fishermen say that the figure was swimming at an incredible speed, and they were unable to follow it. "A flash of white" is a common motif among the eyewitness reports. The government has refused to comment on the matter. Local authorities have been asked to keep an eye out for the figure, but they dismissed the reports as "drunken hallucinations".

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