Mining the Wreckage
CHARLES RYAN – THE HEAVY MINER
Around the time that a series of accidents at the Kadath Mining Facility caused profits to tumble, the Leng Corporation unveiled a new philanthropic initiative called “Project Heavy Miner.” This program hired disabled workers from all over the world, offered them a ludicrously high salary, and promised to give them back their ability to work. (This program was also offered to many of their own injured workers.)
Candidates were carefully chosen. They needed to have no close family, no major ties, no one who would come looking for them. The reason for this soon became abundantly clear to the new hires: the Leng Corporation intended to alter their bodies and fuse them to the inside of Heavy Miner suits for prolonged deep sea operations.
Charles Ryan was one of the workers who was injured in an accident at the Kadath facility. When he caught word of “Project Heavy Miner” – and the dollar signs that came attached to it – he jumped at the opportunity. When he awoke from surgery, he discovered he was no longer completely human. But he was lucky: unlike candidates in the first batch, he survived. His luck held out, too. Upon returning to Kadath from an extended survey mission, he discovered that most of his fellow miners had been devoured or mutilated by beasts that were literally his friends’ worst nightmares given flesh. Now he fights. He plans. And he searches for a way out.
Your breath catches in your throat as you hear the crying. It’s a woman, you think. And she’s nearby.
“Hello?” you say, stepping into the dimly lit room. “Are you in here? It’s okay. I’m here to help.”
“The pain,” the woman says. “The pain is so terrible. We couldn’t stop it. There was nothing we could do.”
“What happened?” you ask. “Where are you?”
A silhouette rises in the half-light. “There was an explosion,” the woman says. “There was a falling beam,” a man says. “They let me drown down here,” a third voice says. And then all three voices speak at once, in a terrible buzzing hum: “You let us die.”
Your heart stops in your chest. This survivor has tentacles. You turn on your flashlight and a moan escapes your throat.
“You work for the Leng Corporation, don’t you?” the voices hum. “We’ve been waiting for you.”
The towering wreckage of the damned barrels toward you, its tentacles thrashing.
Even before the terrors took shape, Kadath had been having problems. The number of incidents had escalated substantially, leaving many maimed or worse. Then the nightmares grew legs, and these doomed, vengeful souls were given a body. Wrecked is that body. And it will not rest until every wrong is repaid with blood.
There have been so many wrongs. . .