The psionic klaxons blared. We looked up from our equipment and squirted alarm to each other. Each of us oozed concern and worry. None would be immune from the anxiety of what might have gone wrong.
What could be going wrong enough to set off those alarms?!
We were in Dark Base. It was a laboratory for the most dangerous things in the galaxy. We studied them. Understood them. Whether it was an unknown species or a deadly virus or a cybernetic organism or a pure malevolent software entity or worse. We studied them and carefully, carefully worked out neutralization methods for each species, software, disease or whatever.
We were meticulous in our containment. We could not afford a single entity of whatever psionic stripe to escape. Any of them might kill us all. Any of them were vicious without mercy. Any of them might do untold damage to galactic civilization. We scented terror amonst ourselves and attempted to psychically sing reassurance even as we did.
The directive came down from on high. Full suits and we were to arm. We quivered with fear though: we had to go down to level seven. That was the most extreme of the quarantined. The foulest and scariest were down there. We might be eaten, pureed or worse.
We moved with care. We moved with fear. We moved like the professional best we were. We were not merely scientists. We were also the best soldiers in the galaxy. To get a job at Dark Base meant being in the best shape, the brightest people and the most ruthless soldiers.
Room by room, we made our way down. Corridor by corridor. Sealing the way behind us. We psychically pinged ahead, looking for movement, for life. The scientists that ought to have been down on the level seemed to be gone. Either evacuated or dead. We knew it was not the former. We dreaded the latter.
We made it to the final laboratory. It contained one of our most terrifying specimens. We positioned ourselves and prepared to enter. We were worried we might have to either breach the room or seal it permanently. Either way would be a disaster: none of the missing scientists were outside of that room.
Whatever had happened had drawn them in and ... we feared the worst.
We trained our weapons and selected a volunteer. I was volunteered. I dreaded what was next. I steadied myself and reached out to open the door, acutely aware there were five dozen blasters pointed at my back. They would not aim for me and they were really excellent shots, but...
I tried one last time to touch anything, anyone alive on the other side. The specimen held though was noted as a psionic jammer. That made life so dangerous around them. They could disrupt our psychic harmony just by being. We hoped to cure them. To save them. We'd planned on introducing 'fixed' phenotype back into the species. Before they became interstellar.
We also thought to make them more docile. They were insanely aggressive. Even by our warrior standards.
I touched the control mentally and the door sprang upwards and open.
The sight before me a horror. Pieces...they were in pieces...everywhere.
"The unnecessary use of violence in attempting to apprehending me is NOT something I approve of. Put it down. Back up and you won't get hurt."
It used sound to communicate. How primitive. But my thoughts, the gesalt, it was fading and oh so terrifying.
"Look. I tried to tell these others. I am not interested in fighting you. I don't want to hurt you, but you're not exactly being hospitable here."
My rage grew. I could not communicate with the others. This THING was blocking my link and it had killed my lab mates.
"Look. I know where I am. It's 106 parsecs from Earth. I've got a fully charged gun, half a pack of grenades and it's fucking dark. And all you assholes seem to have left me is my sun glasses and these lovely thermal detontors your friends brought me. And if you don't let me out of hear, I'm gonna have to hit it."
I looked at its manipulator in horror and realized it had rigged the room with improvised antisentient mines. I knew then why it was so dangerous and attempted to pull the trigger through the mental haze.
It noticed and plunged its fifth entoskeletal tentacle down.
I could swear I heard a psionic growl as the explosives went off.