The storm clouds gathering on the horizon matched his mood. Dark and dangerous. He tried to ignore the coming blast of weather that was natural to this planet. The weather always got nasty at night.
He finally heard from his CO—conduct a perimeter check. Secure all exits and stay put for further orders. From the condition of the buildings, not to mention the locks, secure was probably an overstatement. He would make the buildings as secure as he could get them with what he had left. Someone else would have to figure out what happened to the colonists.
David retreated to the settlement’s command center where the glass windows had stood up to hurricane-force winds and hail and lighting and whatever it was that came across the valleys. Darkness was falling, and the winds began to howl through the deserted settlement. He should be secure until the others arrived, but the hairs on the back of his neck bristled as if they thought differently. They were right.
In the central command center’s depths two floors below his location, a shadowy figure shut down life support for the settlement. The lights went out, and the familiar hum of the oxygen generator ceased. David swallowed hard, dropped his helmet visor, and engaged his breathing pack. As the winds grew stronger, David felt the building shake. This was different—this was not from the approaching storm. The source of the shake seemed to come from the other side of the complex.
As he gazed out the thick windows, heart pounding, the habitats began to rip apart. He watched in horror as sheets of the prefabricated construction flew into the air, caught by the storm’s powerful winds. From behind him, David heard the swish of the automatic door into the command module. He turned to find the planet’s native inhabitants standing before him.
They weren’t happy.