An abandoned airfield
Sgt. John Raine
June 4th, 1945
Unbroken silence within utter blackness.
“Damn it, is anyone out there?! I can’t see a damn thing… ”
Sergeant Raine felt around the dark cockpit, searching for a recognizable element of the plane’s interior to orient himself, or better yet, any sign of life.
As he felt around, broken shards of glass from the cockpit window and coarse gravel grazed against his palms. Raine could now be sure that the plane had not turned upside down, with the base of the pilot’s chair felt below him. Now that he was sure how the plane was arranged, he could find a way out.
This wasn’t how the mission was supposed to go. Following Germany’s formal surrender, the OSS had enlisted Raine and four other men in his squad to ensure the safety of a spy by the name of Peter McCain as he was escorted into the country. Their primary objective was ensuring McCain infiltrated Group 935, a scientific research organization partnered with the Germans during the war. They flew under the cover of night to avoid arousing any suspicion about Agent McCain.
As Raine crawled toward a source of light, he began to remember the moments leading up to the crash. All the systems aboard had malfunctioned and the engines had given out, seemingly at random. Perhaps it was sabotaged by agents working for Group 935? It seemed unlikely, given the amount of preparation that went into this vital mission. If this truly was a freak accident, American forces would soon recover Raine and any survivors of the crash.
McCain must be one hell of a spy for the US to send three planes carrying squads of US Marines as an escort, Raine thought. During the war, Group 935 had aligned with Nazi Germany and they may be responsible for numerous war crimes committed within that partnership. With an American spy on the inside, they can be exposed for who they truly are, and their research can be put to greater use. At least, that’s what Raine was told.
Raine could now see faint moonlight seeping in where the plane had crumpled upon crashing. Cautious, the Sergeant drew his Colt and crawled towards the hole. His ankle had been badly twisted after being tossed about in the plane. He eyed the foggy landscape through the breach in the fuselage: No one in sight. He waited a few more moments for any sign of life.
Raine crawled out from the debris onto the harsh gravel outside, and a sudden odor struck him. He was so taken aback by the scent his arms crumpled beneath him and his eyes began to water. It was the stench of rotting human flesh, reminding him of Guadalcanal. Balance regained, Raine raised himself up, eyeing his surroundings: No Germans, but none of his fellow soldiers either.
On the other side of the plane was a seemingly abandoned bunker, worn and barren from many hard fought battles of the past, but now lying still in this foggy airfield. The thick fog prevented Raine from seeing anything in any direction besides the bunker and a couple of power lines. On closer inspection, the bunker was caved in and heavily damaged due to falling debris from the plane, but the structure was still standing, lying dormant and silent midst the fog.
Surrounding the small bunker were rusty metal barrels and a few German army trucks, their beds full of cargo. Upon a closer inspection, he found the crates within were marked with an insignia: A pair of wings, between them the head of a wolf. There was also another symbol: It looked like a gear surrounding a hand with electrons spinning around the center; The arm of the hand was made up of the Waffen SS insignia, and in the center, the numbers 9-3-5.
Group 935 was here; At this abandoned airfield. For what purpose?
At the nose of the plane, a similar truck was seen destroyed by the crash, its cargo spread out along the flat ground around the plane. One such crate had been flung several yards near where Raine had emerged. From a large hole bashed into the side of the crate, strange, glowing blue rocks could be seen inside.
Raine waited a few moments before attempting to get back to his feet. The pain in his ankle was nigh unbearable, yet Raine stood up, deciding to take a chance to find the others in his squad.
Only the wind.
“Turner, are you with me?!”
“Hunter! Come on, anybody?!”
For what seemed like an eternity, there was only silence. Then, faintly, a voice called out to Sergeant Raine.
“Sarge! Come quick! ”
The voice was coming from the bunker, and Raine could not quite catch whom the voice matched. He lifted himself up on his good leg and staggered towards fellow life with renewed purpose, before stopping dead in his tracks.
It erupted like thunder, the boom echoing across the desolate landscape. There were groans and yelps in the distance, becoming clearer as something was approaching. A group of yellow-orange lights appeared in pairs deep within the fog, shifting about erratically. They started small and grew ever larger until the outlines of their bodies became clear. Several dozen, around the size of grown men, with piercing orange eyes and a hellish moan, stumbled across the field towards Raine. Distinguishing features could now be seen: Flailing arms, flapping jaws, and grey skin. As they came closer, the monsters’ intentions became clear, and they were heading straight for Raine.
Raine dove into the plane to find a gun with more ammunition for the ambush, but the shambling bodies had transitioned into a full sprint, shoving each other away to try and reach his position. Raine dropped his Colt in the darkness, and was forced deeper and deeper into the plane as the beasts piled into the tiny, cramped hole in the side of the fuselage. There was no route of escape as they pushed even further inward like a wall of flesh. Raine ran his hand along the walls to find what he was looking for. Finally, the rations compartment was in front of him. Raine desperately scooped weeks of rations out and stuffed himself inside the tiny compartment. He could barely fit his head in, being forced into the fetal position with his head in his lap. Raine shut the door in a panic, gripping the emergency interior handle with fear.
The sound of banging, crashing, groaning, and clawing were heard outside the compartment for the next hour. Raine had begun to panic from his claustrophobia, but his fear of the beasts that wished to reach him inside was far greater. Sweat and tears soaked the shaking man within the plane, trapped by an unknown enemy.
From within his prison the soldier heard the faint sounds of gunfire outside. Surely that was his squad-mates coming to his rescue. They would kill the things outside, and finally this Hell could be over.
But the banging and screaming continued. Sergeant Raine stayed within the plane’s ration compartment only a few days before finding peace in death. He had water on his person which lasted a short time, but the rations, only a few feet away from him, were beneath the boots of the monsters. No one came back for Raine, and his squad’s screams of terror were heard by no one else but the undead.