Deus Ex Machina

tagnone

2

2

Infobox
Canon: Baseline
Series: Sub-Vesuvia
Canon: Baseline Series: Sub-Vesuvia

Gunshots echoed throughout the hallways. An ignition, a bang. Bits of hot lead, travelling faster than a human ear could even register its call. Keller and Connors' pistols and the Foxtrot-4's combat rifles themselves were the instruments of death—but the gunshots were the symphony in itself.

One, two, three, four and five—a beat to build the rhythm. Six, seven, eight, nine and ten—a rhythm to build the melody. Direct hits; the audience cheered. An impenetrable skin to match the concrete walls.

It screamed. It wailed. It sent beds and chairs flying. The hospital staff fled the building in white droves—as if a flock of doves was released in a bloody wedding. The warped minds of the unfortunate souls blinded them to the wrath of Andrew’s Hellion.

It grabbed a patient by his torso and twisted his head like a bottlecap. It then separated his spine from the rest of his body and splashed vibrant red blood all over the once-white walls. Landing its next step onto an unconscious body, fine red mist bursted out as it was crushed.

The demon did all of these horrors all while being rained lead by the seven gunmen. The ejected unburned gunpowder, smoke discharge from the rifle barrels and the mist of blood all combined to create a red smokescreen inside the halls.

With the demon now losing visual contact with its assailants, it was now attacking everything in its path. The blood mist broke from time to time, revealing the floor caked in brains and entrails, accompanied by the gurgling screams of its victims.

Now it had been consumed by the volumes of the red mist it had indirectly created. Keller took this as a chance to regroup and form a strategy.

“Fox, get your team back out here!” Commanded Keller to the Foxtrot-4’s team commander.

He simply replied with a nod, while still firing his rifle blindly into the mist. He stood up and started walking backwards—the barrel of his rifle still aimed at the mist. One by one, his team cleared the hallway. Now, it was time for Nathan and Kelly’s turn to exit.

“You go on first, I’ll cover you.” Keller said to her.

With her pistol slide locked open, she made a run for the doorway. She attempted to cower her torso as low to the floor as possible. Her footsteps were drowned out by the still-screaming mental patients inside the fog but the cover would last only so long.

Kelly reached the metal-accented plastic door and loaded a fresh clip into her pistol. She depressed the slide release lever and the gun was loaded once more. She looked back to Keller and gave him a nod. Her and the rest of Foxtrot-4 had him covered.

However, he would need to be light on his feet, as the gurgling screams were finally silenced and the blood mist started to dissipate. He stood back up from his prone position and—without looking back—made a run for the doorway.

By the looks of the team’s faces, the demon hadn’t spotted him. Everyone went away from the darkened hallway and regrouped inside what seemed like a staff lounge area. It wasn’t far from where the demon was last spotted but it was dark enough for them to safely regroup.

They kneeled on the white tiled floors. Fox was the last to enter; making sure everybody was accounted for. He closed the door but left a tiny little crack as to still acquire the target picture.

“Check your mags.” The team leader commanded; voice whisper-quiet. “I’ve got two left.”

“Three left.”

“Two left.”

“Two left.”

“Three left.” His team replied one by one.

“One left.” Keller said.

Kelly ran her left hand through her left waist where she would usually tuck in a few extra magazines. She only felt her skin and bones pushing back. She had only packed two extra magazines. Her poor ammo conservation discipline led her to having her last magazine locked and loaded.

“None.” She reported.

“What’s the plan, Fox?” Keller asked the team leader.

“Alright…” He said while trying to catch his breath. “As far as I can tell, the thing doesn’t have projectile capabilities, so as long as we keep our distance, we should be safe. I’ve ordered my boys to move in with the tanks as soon as they received my call—don’t worry, I did; they should be here any second now. Anders, tell me you’ve got extra grenades this time.”

“Yes sir, I have two fragmentation, two high-explosives and two smokes.” She said, confidently.

“Good, you keep that as a last resort only.” Fox rested the butt of his M4 carbine on the floor and rested his arm on the front of the magazine well. “If it’s anything like the demon we took down earlier, aim for its head.”

They could hear several bumps, screams and bangs all throughout the regrouping session. A sinister background music, if they will. Truly the best focus booster available on the market.

To her left, Kelly observed two, especially silent operatives both kneeling down and trying their best to regulate their breath and heart rate. The one closer to her was wiping his sweat off of his forehead with his gloves—the other seemed to had been reciting bible verses under his breath. Their nameplates read 'Pearce' and 'Gilmour' respectively.

After giving it a moment to think about, this staff lounge area was probably not the best safe area in the hospital: The windows leading to the outside garden were too small for a human clad in full battle gear to snugly fit through, nor were there any other exits available.

“Sir, what about containment protocols?” Asked a soldier on Keller’s right; ‘Lance’ written across his chest piece.

“Yeah… they should have a modular chamber waiting outside; just need to lure it out.”

“No, we can’t keep it alive.” Keller riposted.

All of the F-4 team members turned their heads to him. “What’re you talking about?” Fox asked.

“The longer we keep it alive, it’ll just…” Keller struggled to articulate the appropriate words. “Go airborne. It won’t need a body anymore and it’ll just be free to do everything it fucking wants.”

The team leader sighed, attempting to overcome a dilemma. His eyebrows furrowed and his head hunched. He was trying to look like he was making a big call but everyone present could tell he already made up his mind.

“Alright. I’ll make the call once we get outside… but we still need to lure the thing out into the open, so non-essential personnel can leave right now. That means you and the miss.” Fox said to Keller.

“No way.” Keller protested. “I’m staying here. Connors can go.”

She looked back at him, impressed by his courage that she might just lend her life to their hands. “I’m staying.” She said to Fox.

“Suit yourselves.” He picked up his rifle and readied it. “Ready your guns. We’re moving out.”

The team press checked their weapons one by one. However, a squeal and a metallic creaking was heard behind them. They all looked at each other to confirm they all heard that noise. In a swift pull of a symphony streak, they all aimed their weapons directly at the source of the sound.

There was only a partially-lit silhouette of one man with his hands up. He seemed to be wearing scrubs. Definitely the hospital staff that had the same idea of choosing the same hiding room as they do.

Keller was the first to avert his aim and holstered his pistol back, so as to not spook them. "Fate silenzio e seguiteci." He commanded.

The one standing furthest out nodded. They understood the directives: Keep close and keep quiet. He motioned the other staff to come out of their hiding places behind the sofas. Kelly, Nathan and the rest of the Foxtrot-4 stood up, opening the door to the room as slowly as not to produce even the faintest of creaks.

Fox was the one to check outside the hallways, first he aimed squarely to the path that they previously took. After making sure it was empty, he turned the other way around. All clear.

One by one, the F-4 team made their way through, securing a perimeter so that the hospital staff can safely regroup. Keller herded them out, repeating his initial commands as they went out. He never bothered to count but there was sure to be more than ten present inside the lounge.

Screams and metallic creaking can still be heard throughout the hallways. However, they were unsure if it was Andrew’s demon still rampaging all through, or if it was just the mental patients. Just not knowing was enough for the cold to pierce their every single spine section.

The hospital’s lights were damaged by the demon’s shockwaves and as such, several fixtures were literally hanging by a thread—most just simply died while some others produced a disorienting strobing effect.

They travelled through the halls—clean, spotless and empty—but that horrendous stench was ever present everywhere they went. It was as if someone had smeared human excrement right underneath their noses.

The F-4 team understood the regular escort form, with most of the team up front while some guarded the rear tail, constantly checking out their backs and sides. Three operatives led the herd up front, while two of them acted as rear guard.

Right now, they were traversing the second floor hallway that leads to the main stairway. Every corner, every turn and every dark room only increased their heart rates. Adrenaline is good to reduce shock but it was especially bad for critical, split-second decision making.

They had reached the stairway but there were no signs of the demon anywhere. The screams of the patient were still present, though. Although, one by one, they were silenced. No gigantic footstep shockwaves were felt—they were afraid that the demon was especially light on its feet.

Just seconds later, a light fixture behind the team had blown out. Lance on the rear guard aimed his rifle squarely at possibly a non-threat. However, he was quickly proven wrong, as Andrew’s demon had, in some way, inexplicably manifested itself from the blown out light fixture.

It was way smaller than they had first encountered it, now possessing the physique of an average human being. However, its screams were as deafening as before and the stench got multiplied exponentially.

“Run!” Lance screamed out, as he unleashed the full power of his rifle at the demon.

It didn’t seem to leave any marks or dents on it—but it was quite effective on staggering it back, giving time for the screaming hospital staff to escape. As he reloaded his empty magazine, Pearce stood by right next to him, unloading his share of hot lead as Lance reloaded; keeping up the suppression effect.

After the staff had successfully descended down the stairway, Pearce tapped Lance’s shoulders, informing him that it was time to go. However, they didn’t choose to take the steps, rather to just leap downwards, as it was a shallow drop.

After they landed, they both aimed their rifles back up the stairs, towards the darkened second floor. With low visibility they activated their underslung flashlights. There was nothing up there. As if the demon was never there. They wasted no time loitering and joined back into the fold. They were still far away from the exit but at least some significant progress was made.

On high alert, the riflemen aimed their ends of the barrels down on any dark spots. However, Anders detected an increased in electrical surges in the lights. The surges were seemingly following them as they went by.

“It’s in the lights… It’s in the lights!” She yelled.

It was either the extreme paranoia or the adrenaline rush but Anders had managed to kill every single light fixture that she came across. It sent a panic among the staff and confusion among the operatives. However, Lance and Pearce took it seriously and joined her in taking out the lights.

The group halted into a stop, as the staff cowered and hunched their torso to avoid the falling glass and neon shards. Everybody now had their flashlights on, with Keller and Connors holding a separate flashlight in their offhand.

A low grumbling noise was heard emanating from an enclosed room. It was located right about the middle of the herd. Anders and Gilmour moved in to investigate—they could see strobing yellow light emanating from under the door. They couldn't afford to just open the door and have demon malice all over their faces. With their second-to-last magazine, they blindly fired their rifles into the room.

No squeals of pain were heard. However, the light seemed to have extinguished. The hospital staff staggered back, clearing a six-foot radius from the shot-up door. Anders and Gilmour slowly moved in, still aiming their half-empty rifles. However, just before they can even touch the door handle, the demon jumped out, leaping forwards and sweeping the operatives off their stance all while letting out that earpiercing scream.

It all happened so fast; nobody could even catch a glimpse of it. After extrapolating the environmental clues, Anders assumed the demon had entered the room adjacent to that of the one it had jumped out of. Not wanting to risk her or anyone else's life, she threw a fragmentation grenade into the room. The hospital staff had advanced further into the front, so there were no chance of collateral damage.

After witnessing the explosion and standing clear of the subsequent shrapnels, Anders and Gilmour shone their flashlights into the room. Nothing was there except for popped up sofa and charred walls.

They assessed their situations. They looked high and low, left and right. It looked like the demon had managed to injure two of the hospital staff: one received a large laceration to her sides and one had been knocked out but no signs of entry wounds. The other able-bodied staff helped them up. Extrapolating from their brief conversations, Keller discerned they'd make it out alive, if they even managed to do so.

“Connors, what else you read in that little catalogue of yours?” Asked Keller.

She hesitated, attempting to access a faint memory. “There was a little something that says the scrying fluid can conduct electricity through copper wires.”

“Copper wires… electricity… Electronics. Take out any electronics and leave it here!” Keller shouted to the F-4 team and the hospital staff. “Portate tutti gli elettronici fuori e lasciatelo qui!”

One by one, the hospital staff and the team took out their phones, watches, while some even took out their wallets and just dropped them where they stood. The ones that were carrying the injured had also took their time to clear out their pockets.

“I can’t just leave my radio here.” Protested Fox.

“No chances.” Keller retorted, taking his radio from his bulletproof vest pocket and threw it into the piles of electronics. “Anders, throw an HE grenade at those.”

The team herded the staff to a safe location around the corner, while Anders took a smooth Avocado-green ball of high explosive grenade out.

She held onto the spoon and pulled out the pin. “Frag out!” She yelled as she ran for cover.

"Giù la testa, tutti quanti!" Keller yelled to the staff to put their heads down, while he did so himself.

A loud explosion was heard and so were screams coming from the staff. Some concrete bits and rubbles rained down on them but the team was certain it wasn’t shrapnel, as the grenade used was a high explosive… unless someone fucked up.

Fox herded the group back to the move once again, taking out the light fixtures as they went by. They were just about to reach the exit where they can clearly see the daylight, Ariete tanks and several armored personnel carriers waiting just outside, accompanied by police sirens. However…

One of the more older looking staff suddenly fell to his knees and gagged. This promptly stopped the group, as several of the nurses rushed into his aid.

"Che cos’ha lui?" Asked Keller.

"Ha un pacemaker!" replied one of the nurses.

"Va bene, venite tutti qui…" He instructed the group to move towards the exit, while signaling the team that he might need assistance.

"Aiutatemi…!" The man pleaded as the team aimed down their sights to his torso.

As the life flickered on and off of the man’s eyes, his once-blue scrubs turned blood red. Not long, his chest burst open. The God awful ever present, the demon’s head seemingly making its way through the tiny component inside its heart.

The team wasted no time unloading their entire magazine as they walked slowly backwards. The staff were successfully rescued, with the exception of this one unfortunate soul. Additional ASF personnel moved into the entrance.

Unlike the size in which Lance and Pearce encountered it in the hallways, the demon was now grown to its former size, towering almost four times that of an average human being. It had also grown a longer right arm with a massive battering ram at the end of it.

With their mags expended, the demon began to strike. Its movements were swift and precise but some of its blows were deviated by the sudden, occasional zooming bullets. However, it had successfully landed a sweeping blow against Gilmour and Pearce, sending them flying at the concrete wall behind them. Pearce got back right up on his feet, continuing his fire against it… although Gilmour seemed to struggle even moving his legs—looks like it had broken on impact.

The arriving ASF grunts immediately tended to him, carrying him by his arms and legs back out. The others approached Fox and requested orders, some had already taken an offensive stance.

“Too dangerous for containment; terminate it!” Fox yelled to the ASF reinforcements.

Approximately twenty ASF grunts armed with automatic rifles unloaded their entire magazine’s worth of bullets, all at once. Now, the demon was too busy staggering to initiate a counter-attack.

All of this shooting was just to buy time while the grunts with the heavier weapons moved in. They’ve brought themselves a six-barreled M134 Gatling gun on top of an armored truck. The gunner let the gun spew six thousand rounds a minute into the head of the hellspawn.

The creature attempted to blindly flail its right arm at the personnel. It swept the team’s position clean off but they reacted soon enough to take a leap backwards to completely evade its strike. It swung its arm again at the armored truck, completely obliterating its engine compartment and slightly injuring the occupants inside from glass shards.

Some of the less spatially aware ASF grunts had pieces of debris falling on top of them. Thankfully, the building's structure was sturdy enough so that no significant portions of the roof would fall; only wooden fixtures and small bits of concrete. Nobody was seriously injured by them.

It was now cowering on the floor, letting out one last bloodcurdling scream before succumbing completely and falling flat. Everyone stopped firing, slowly moving into the fallen body while still aiming their rifles at its head.

However, before they could even confirm its death, the demon’s body started to sizzle. It looked like it was boiling but no heat was emanating from it. Everyone recoiled back, fearing that it might have a second form.

But it had simply turned into ash, instead of leaving a rotting body for the team to clean up. On a plus side though, the stench also followed the body into the void. Was this really the end?

Everyone relaxed their postures, switched their weapons’ safeties off and holstered their pistols. They did not celebrate nor did they cheer, as this was a true tragedy to have occurred right in the middle of a populated city. They were just thankful that it hadn’t exited the building; at least X-Ray-6 would have a lesser effort to censor any and all information regarding this.

Besides the wailing police sirens and bystanders chatting outside, the loudest sound they heard from within the main entrance hall was a cough. Sounded pretty far away to the left. Keller checked all around but the only person he couldn’t account for was Connors.

He shone his flashlight at the source of the cough and there she was. Sitting down on the floor against a massive rubble, most of her shirt turned red and a two-foot rusted steel rebar protruding through her bulletproof vest.

With no second thoughts crossing his mind, Keller ran straight to her side. He slid down on the final approach to her position and held her left arm up.

“Hey, you awake? Stay with me.” He said, slapping her cheeks gently. “I need medic over here!”

The personnel relayed his request for a medic to the outside personnel. Luckily, medical staff were present and ready to go at a moment’s notice. They rushed inside carrying a stretcher and a few duffel bags of medical supplies.

Keller sat still on her side as they attempted to move her. The rebar was still attached to the giant concrete pillar. They couldn’t just simply pull her out of it, as it could risk further injuries. They called in a personnel with a crowbar and an angle grinder. They were trying to cut the rebar and evacuate her with it.

Connors started to open her eyes. With her dazed gaze and lethargic movements, she detected Keller’s presence. She had lost a great deal of blood.

“Hey. Hey. You’re with me?” Keller asked, trying to keep her awake.

“Uh-huh…” She replied; unable to articulate a sentence.

“Hey, come on, stay awake. You did good today, yeah? Come on…” Keller was running out of ideas to keep her afloat. “Just… just think about all those shiny medals you always wanted, alright? What was it? Which one did you want? The one you never shut up about?”

“Huh…” Kelly was drifting away by the second.

The technicians had begun cutting away the rebar. Keller looked at their faces with great worry. His eyes could even yell for them to hurry up. Sparks were emanating from her back, blinding him second by second but he didn’t care about it. He was just looking deep into her green eyes.

It looked like Kelly was giving him one last look before drifting away, she even bothered to crack him a smile, even when it was just a half-assed one. However, her efforts had extinguished, as her life shafted away.

“Kelly? Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, stay with me. Come on…” He tried his best to wake her up… and it was no avail. Single drop of tear melted away from his left eye…

***

Never forget your place in this world.

***

Kelly awakened, ripping open her eyes full of dust and microscopic pebbles. Her brain needed time to adjust to the sudden influx of light entering her retinas. She gave her gazers a thorough rub, often squealing ever so faintly in distress.

There was an external touch, definitely not from her own hands, gently pushing her torso back down to its former lying position. She could also hear a jumbled series of words and the brain attempted its best to decipher it.

At the time, her brain only registered the discomfort in her head area but sooner or later, it also had to register the pain down under as well. By the time she regained full vision, she started to feel an extreme ache in her torso.

She closed her eyes after feeling an intense sharpening pain, with her tongue somehow registering the pain as licking old nickel coins. A few rapid breaths were taken and she relaxed her torso, laying back down on the cushioned bedding.

Finally, her brain had successfully restored her hearing. The jumbled alphabet soup that she had heard earlier now was forming into complete, comprehensive sentences. The voice was telling her to lay back down and relax—it had even demanded a doctor and the nurse’s audience.

Still with the caked debris coating her eyes in a thin film, she opened her eyelids slowly, giving time for the retina to adjust its contrast. She registered her surroundings: finely lit nondescript room with sectioned window panes. Bright neon sticks shining white high above and a mess of beeping, screeching and wailing electronics to her right.

She then directed her head to the source of the voice that kept on telling her to relax. An elderly face, very familiar. Wearing royal purple robes with another familiar symbol…

“How are you feeling, my child?” Asked Brother Verulus.

Her ability to articulate sentences was the last thing her brain attempted to restore. “I, uhh…” She squealed in pain once again.

“Lay back down and relax. You need rest.”

She groaned, trying to contain the pain so that she could talk. “Brother Verulus?”

“Yes, it’s me.” He replied.

“Where’s, uhh…” She looked all around the room. “Where’s Keller?”

“He’s gone.”

A nurse carrying a syringe filled with nondescript clear fluid came over her side. She injected its contents into Kelly’s IV unit. The pain in her stomach had overwhelmed the faint stinging sensation on her left forearm.

Brother Verulus spoke to the nurse in Italian. She had wished she knew what was being discussed but the nurse left immediately after he spoke to her in a demanding tone. She went on back to writhing around the bed and still, Brother Verulus was there to gently restraint her.

The nurse came back rather quickly. This time, she was holding a pill bottle and a glass of water. She spoke to Verulus once again in Italian and now her bed had inexplicably shifted. The headrest rose, while the leg support descended. This put her body in a more or less sitting position.

The nurse gave her a couple of reddish-pink pills. She wasn’t sure what the pill was or what it was used for but she gladly accepted it without a second thought. Kelly instantly downed the pills, swallowing it dry, while forgetting that the nurse had brought her a glass of water.

So, she took the glass and cleaned out her dry throat with it. The water was sufficiently colder than the ambient temperature, so the refreshing sensation had mitigated her intense pain, albeit insignificant.

Kelly caught a few breaths to regulate her hyperventilation. In just a few seconds, she had managed to keep the pain under control.

“What, ah… what happened?” She asked. “What do you mean he’s gone?”

“He was recalled back home. He told me he’s got something to do with his work. He also didn’t want to bother you too much.”

“Ah.” She groaned from time to time. “What about… Andrew?”

“Well…” Brother Verulus sat back down on the stool next to her bed. “I don’t know. Your men won’t tell me what happened or what’s going to happen… but I can tell you that back at the monastery, I overheard that something about radio and activity was stopped.”

“Radioactivity.” Kelly remarked. “Did you hear something about gamma rays, probably?”

“No… I’m not sure.”

“Alright.” She took an especially long breath. “And how many, uhh… how many people died, today?”

Brother Verulus looked at her in indecision. “Everyone you’ve brought back with you out of that hospital made it out alive. That’s all that matters. Also, you’ve been asleep for a week now.”

Kelly turned her head around. She knew he wasn’t trying to disappoint her or make her feel guilty for all the deaths that day. He focused her attention on the good deeds that she had done. While she saw right through the trick, she had still appreciated his effort.

The same nurse went through the door again. This time, she was just simply standing in the doorway, uttering a few Italian words to Verulus and left. He gave the nurse a nod.

“They called me outside. You should try to get some rest and sleep, child. God bless you.” He said to her and promptly left the room.

Now, she was all alone with her thoughts and the deafening ring of the absence of sound. The beeps from the heart rate monitor accompanied her from time to time, in a steady 80 beeps per minute.

She looked straight up into the ceiling, staring at the neon fixtures. Call it a paranoia or anything but she wouldn’t care. Even though she couldn’t find her pistol in her hip holster, she guarded the fixture like it was the gates to hell itself.

Still alone with her thoughts, she wondered: Did she really save the day?



EPILOGUE





“No. Definitely not.” Kelly said. “Lots of people died that day. As a Sierra-8 investigator, I was trained to explore the ‘what ifs’ but never to dwell on it or take it as gospel. I don’t know—what would’ve happened if we hadn’t confronted Andrew on that day?”

“I, uhh… well, I believe far more people would’ve died. I mean, It was said in the logs that Andrew’s ghost would have been freed of mortal restrictions if it had more time, right?” The Chief Engineer hypothesized.

“Maybe it did.” The Deck Hand retorted. “You said yourself that the demon turned to dust, right? What if the demon had been freed and that’s what we’re dealing with here?”

“Can’t be. If that was the case, then the demonio would have come from every light on this ship, just like what signora said.” Countered the Boatswain.

“If you ask me, this is an entirely different thing.” Remarked the Third Mate. “This is… this is far bigger than anything that I’ve ever seen. Since we’re sharing our secrets: I’ve partaken in RPC-969’s initial containment—with the Captain, First Mate and aboard a different boat. The Authority considered that as a massive containment operation and some of you know what I’m talking about. If what we’re dealing with here is equivalent to that of David versus Goliath like what you’ve all been talking about, then Object 969 was an equivalent of clubbing a baby seal.”

"Signora, whatever happened to Nathan Keller?" The Boatswain asked.

"Right now? Oh… I believe he's got himself a homicide case back home. I don't know, he never wanted to see me again." She replied.

"Why not?" The Deck Hand asked.

"He, uhh… he experienced an emotional trauma from the case in Prague that he might or might not have associated with me… but I don't blame him." She poured herself a shot's worth of whiskey and immediately downed it. "Look, it's a longer story than this one; I'll talk about it later."

"Can't you give us a shorter version?"

"Well… he had to uhh… he had to watch his wife die a second time." Connors replied.

The tuned-in crowd murmured; bewildered by her reply. They all asked her about it at once, completely overwhelming her. However, it was soon disrupted by a quick slamming of rubber boots on thin, metal stairs. The First Mate had returned from the Captain’s Quarters. They all silenced themselves to listen to whatever he had to say.

“The Captain is dead.” The First Mate reported.

The previously silent mess hall was now somehow drowned in an even more sinister silence. Some of the crew made the sign of the cross with their hands, while some spoke out their grievances.

“Well, that means now you’re the Captain. What are your orders?” Asked the Third Mate.

“We turn this boat right back and establish radio contact with Authority command. First, we need to figure out where the hell we are.” He said. "Everyone, to your posts."

The crew slammed their cups and mugs and went back to their posts. After they left, the only one remaining was the Boatswain. He stood up and turned to Investigator Kelly Connors.

“If you believe in God, now’s the time to ask for forgiveness, mia signora.” He said, leaving the mess hall.

Ultimately, he was right. There was no guarantee that anyone would rescue them from this catastrophe. Good thing for her, Kelly had been a faithful Catholic all her life. She reached out her heart to Him, begging for His forgiveness. She only hoped that He was as faithful to her as she is to Him.

The Infernal Machine « Deus Ex Machina

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