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[Preview] [Sci-Fi Horror Story] Black Angel Six Two: Paradise Lost

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Synopsis: A young military surveyor is sent by the ULNN to assist colonists in settling a backwater moon on the far side of the galaxy. But a terrible curse seems to have gripped the infant colony, and the civilians fear a vengeful wraith, one whose name they only whisper as "The Nightbringer"; its eyes, coals burning with hate and its body and limbs, smoke and wisps in the wind.

Protagonist: Quinn and Valor

Paradise Lost

To Cain, "... the Lord said , 'What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me. And now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.'" (Genesis 4: 10-11)

It was dark outside in the outpost colony of Eden. The man, torn between disbelief, resignation, and flat-out terror-- held out his hand as if he could somehow push away the nightmare looming over him.

"No!" He sobbed, gripping the bloodied mess of what was left of his hand. "Please, leave me alone!"

The thing chuckled. It had no mouth, so the man didn't have the slightest clue how it was laughing at him--but still, it was. The thing was shaped like a man, though his body was blacker than sin, making it nearly invisible in the dark of the night. It slid effortlessly across the fake furs that made up the floor of the man's office. In its trail, it bled inky black smoke that evaporated into the night.
As the shade advanced, the man fell back against the blood-stained wall of his office, and slumped, all the strength from his legs robbed from him. Though he fell, still, the man could not look away from the thing's eyes. They burned with a black flame, nearly purple in the low light, and within their depths the man saw only bottomless hate.

His words all dried up, the man could only whimper softly in fear, his eyes fixed wide open, streaming tears.
"I... I have family..."

The thing took another step. Step? Did it even have feet?

"I... I don't want to die..."

The thing flicked its hand a bit, and a blade extended from the midnight depths of its arm.

"I-- please-- WHAT DO YOU WANT?!" The man screamed, his voice cracking, his entire body shaking in desperation.


The thing reached down, closed its hand around the man's mouth, and descended. The man's eyes bugged out in fear, darting back and forth maniacally, before turning totally black. First, the man's screams stopped. Then his limbs ceased their futile thrashing, slowing, becoming perfectly still.

Wordlessly, the man rose, his unseeing eyes rolling about within his vacated skull.
He reached for his letter opener.

I want you to suffer.

And then the man descended into Hell.


Specialist Quinn, a scout of ULNN Ranging woke with a start. She knocked over several of her surveyor's equipment as she did, which jostled Valor's cage. Valor, who was also previously sleeping, screeched in annoyance, spreading his wings as far as they would reach in the cage. Everywhere else was strewn with pound upon pound of the tools she would need to map out the colony's topological and geological area.

"Ugh..." She held a hand to her head. It felt like someone had taken a hammer to the inside of her skull. She should stop buying cheap liqueur.

"You alright Ma'am?" The pilot of the shuttle turned to talk to her from his seat up front. He had been trying to make small talk the entire flight over. Something in the way that he looked at her made her feel like he wasn't just bored. Must be the hot new trend she was always hearing about in the stations. Joining the Lightyear-High Club they were calling it.

She was still gonna be polite-- but like he was getting sh*t. Quinn tried to smile, although in her sleep-addled state it probably came out more like a grimace...

"I'm fine, thanks."

"You might sleep better if you'd just let us put that pet of yours in the cargo bay."

Quinn felt a bolt of annoyance cut through the fog of pain. Ugh. 'Pet', he called him. These Philistines never understood the bond that she had with Valor. Between that, and the man prattling on and on about all the battles he took part in and how he was some great war hero, by the time they were two hours off the ground, Quinn hated him like *** offenders and people who talk in the movie theater. Likely the man was sour about making pretty much zero headway with his only female passenger in months; Quinn could hear his co-pilot laughing at him about it from behind closed doors.

She decided she had enough of listening to this moron. Time to go for the weird-out cop-out.

"Awwwwwww... don't liiisten to this..." Quinn waved her hand a bit, searching for the right word. "...Ballsac." Quinn held her finger up to tickle the bird's beak from between the bars of his cage, who turned his head around to let Quinn stroke his neck. "You're no pet, aren't you Valor? You're my sweetie pie, aren't you Valor? Yes you are! Yes you are."

The pilot turned to his partner with raised eyebrows, who was cracking up. The helmed man shook his head in exasperation.

"Why do I always reel in the crazy ones...?" He muttered under his breath, and he shut the door to the pilot's compartment for good. Back in the passenger seats, Quinn laid back and pulled her ULNN cap over her eyes.

"Works every time, huh Valor?"
The bird cocked its head and squawked, before ducking down to scratch at a spot under its wing.
She closed her eyes from underneath her cap, and went back to sleep.

"Heh. 'Reel in.' Like he had a chance."


She did a little hop from the land-to-space shuttle, and landed on both feet.
Quinn held out both hands in front of her to steady herself. Phew. Back on solid ground. Ironic, since she spent so much time with her falcon, but she just didn't like spaceships, or flying in general. She enjoyed the feel of the ground beneath her feet and the burn of her legs working. It was why she became a surveyor for infant planets in the first place.

A sharp female voice cut in.

"You're the fresh meat from Core?"

Quinn looked up. Woah.

It was a woman, obviously. But a lot of woman. With dark, dark hair that fell in sheets down to her shoulder, and maybe the biggest chest Quinn had ever seen on a person-- or cows for that matter. More than enough to make the young surveyor jealous. That is, if the woman didn't have the coldest darn eyes hidden under her sheriff's hat. Somehow, even with the looks, Quinn didn't imagine the sheriff went out on many dates.

Quinn held out her hand, and smiled.

"Quinn. ULNN Rangers."
The sheriff made no response, expect to stare back coldly with a frown on her face. Finally, she spoke.

"...The name is Caitlyn." The sheriff ignored her hand. Instead, she leaned in close to Quinn. "Now you listen to me closely, girl. Eden-- is my town. Around here, you answer to me. And I got my hands full with a colony up to its balls in spooked people, what with this 'monster' that's been running rumors. So the last thing I need is some frilled, ULNN princess from the Core making trouble on my turf? Got it?"

Quinn lowered her hand...
...and then slowly raised it back up again in typical fascist Noxia's ultra-nationalist salute.

"Heil Hahn, Lord of Sheriffs."

"..." Sheriff Caitlyn's eye twiched. She shot Quinn one last look with her suspicious, narrowed eyes, before turning on her heel and marching off. Quinn was amazed she could walk so quickly with that massive stick up her--

"Don't worry, I won't burn the place down!" Quinn called out, "I'm just here to draw some maps!"

Caitlyn gave no indication she heard her, she only rounded a corner, her black hair flaring out before disappearing in a crowd of milling mechnical engineers.

Heh. Quinn grinned, and turned to the nearest mechanic, punching him lightly in the arm.

"Did I just win that dick measuring contest, or what?" The wiry, middle aged man said nothing in response, only shuffling as quickly as he could away from the strange, squwaking creature and her bird. "Right? Right?"

Quinn sucked in her cheek a bit. What a bunch of weirdoes. Well, everyone seemed nice enough in this quaint 'lil colony. Quinn might even enjoy herself this time around. But... something felt off. It was something the sheriff had said... Quinn racked her brain, trying to remember what.

She turned to Valor.

"Did that sheriff say... 'Monster'?"