“Atmospheric pressure normal and breathable air.” said Zola.
“Fine, "said Laura. “No idea whats going on here yet: crack your helmets to conserve oxygen, but keep suited up.” After all, there was no telling what might happen in this strange place.
The station itself followed the standard pattern of asteroid habitats. It consisted of a series of tunnels drilled into the rock. These tunnels were, of course, in microgravity, and handholds were liberally placed along their length, so that residents could control themselves as they floated through the corridors.
As soon as they entered the tunnels, they could sense the wrongness of the place. An unwholesome smell saturated everything—sweet, sickly, rotten. Everything appeared still and vacant. Here and there pockets of brown goo dotted the walls and floors of the station, with twisting patterns that were reminiscent of spirals or shells.
The layout of the place didn’t ease this feeling: tunnels jutted off at odd angles, sometimes scattering in all directions. An ambush would be easy. The zero-gravity of the place made exploring the station even more confusing. Up and down blurred. The entire structure inside was something of a labyrinth. Still, despite its abandonment, its was obvious that the station was the result of the expenditure of a great deal of money.
“But who?” wondered Laura. And then she spotted something.
Faint traces of a sticky red substance—barely discernible at first, but as they moved along it became more and more obvious: bloody handprints smeared along a wall. And then the lights flickered and died. Suit lights went on, providing scant illumination in the pitch darkness.
“Well this is great” muttered Rackham.
“Stay alert” said Laura. “Clearly something bad has happened here.”
“There’s a chamber up here” said Zola. “It opens out quite a lot.”
And then the light flickered back on. Sprawled across the floor were the eviscerated corpses of a man and a woman, both torn apart, mouths in a screaming rictus, viscera strewn across the floor. They stared down at the sight, keeping their thoughts to themselves
“Well….” coughed Rackham, no doubt about to make some off colour remark. The station comms cut in, broadcasting a stertorous, rasping series of breaths.
“Someones jacking with our heads” said Laura. “Lets move on.”