"What the fuck?"
Two hours in a helicopter to fly into the middle of nowhere in Arizona didn't leave the crew with much patience. What they were told didn't make sense, but lo and behold exactly what was described sat before them.
From a ridgy plateau that rose hundreds of feet off the ground, dried blood had splattered across the rock face, little chunks of blue plastic littered what was evidently the path of free fall. At the base, where the team stood, were the crumpled, contorted corpses of two men clad in blue suits. Their limbs were rolled up and pointing in an unnatural number of directions, not an uncommon sign for people who died from such a fall. Every observable inch of these bodies told a horrible story, to an all too mortifying detail, each broken digit giving the squad a horrible pit in their stomachs.
The locator chips in the suits had been caught by a survey satilliete, showing they belonged to Units 421 and 410. The only problem? Units 421 and 410 were among the squad contemplating these corpses.
"What the fuck?" 410 spoke again. "What is this?"
When he was told his body was found, he was confused. Only seeing it made him angry.
Stolen suits? Misidentified chips? Not likely. Unit 410 flipped open the small hatch on his arm and checked the serial number. Carefully moving the dead bodies, he checked the serials on both suits. Exact match. 421 joined him. Again an exact match. These suits were genuine.
"Jerry, I don't…I don't like this."
Perhaps against protocol, who knew at this point, the man slowly propped up the corpse with the matching serial. He unlatched the blue helmet, and began to raise it. Had they not been wearing gas masks, perhaps the smell would have advised him to do otherwise. The helmet was off, and the man stood staring into a mirror.
The body hadn't been dead for a day, but in the blazing summer heat, inside a hermetic suit no less, had proven to be inauspicious. The eyes were a dull milky white, the remains of the iris just barely distinguishable. The skin was creased, a slight green hue, teeth missing and chipped, a dried string of blood stained on the corner of the cheek. Scratches and scrapes peppered the face here and there - but the face. Unit 410 knew the face. It was his face. In his suit. Dead, in the middle of the desert.
Unit 421 didn't dare lift the other corpse's helmet. He knew what lied beneath, but refused himself the closure.
Two bodybags and another ride back to base. Autopsy was largely a formality - cause of death was obviously from the fall. How the two has managed to scale the plateau was a mystery - obviously not the largest one, either. Two soldiers just found their corpses miles from civilization, with no clue as to why, or how.
The suits were taken into inspection, and it was found the chips in the suits, the black box of sorts, had registered data older than the current suits. Older than the current date, in fact. The last ping the tech boys could confirm was sent out two months in the future. Official conclusion was the fall damaged the chip and screwed up the internal clock before the suits hit the ground. Still so much no one could explain. The serial numbers were the exact same, how could that be? It's never happened before, it's one of the only vetting procedures during manufacturing. And what of the bodies? DNA tests hadn't come through yet, but the team recognized the faces! Those corpses were still alive, they were walking around, they were with them! Who is in those suits?
The two men spent the night getting drunk and trying to suppress the anxiety clawing its way out from their heads.
It was a lot of crying…a lot of laughing…a lot of yelling…a lot of half-thoughts…
Yawning, he stretched out his arms. His eyes opened in confusion. To his left had been a wall, to his right had been his comrade. He was still naked as a babe, but his senses failed him. There was a nothingness around him.
Until the Beast strolled in from the darkness. Cocked its head, and spoke, "Oh...ny shrend..." The voice was shrill, weak. Like every passing word caused the thing a great pain.
"I had aongost horgotten what you lookt like..."
The thing leaned it and caressed the naked man's face. "Swiet child...what he shall drije you tah do..."
The man awoke in a cold sweat, felt around frantically and found himself back in bed.
Sleep would elude him the rest of the night, for there were a pair of red orbs staring at him through the window. Unmoving. As sunlight shone in the early mornings, it would prove nothing was there.