Hey, to anyone at all who has read this, I'm reposting it with some minor changes. I know that it starts off kinda slow, but stick with it for a while. Trust me, it gets better!

Enjoy!

Rhyket: Ch. 1

Snow slowly fell, floating down from the heavens like miracles that might one day bless the earth. Mountains, raised from the desolate tundra of Alaska as overpowering monarchs; overshadowing much of their land.

In their kingdom, two vehicles kicked up the frozen soil of the northern fall, small wakes behind the two black boats of the land. The clouded sky reflected off the dark windows, showing the depressed heavens what they really looked like. A few figures within the cars said nothing, just waiting for their journey to end.

The trees that made their homes near the bases of such huge entities took no notice of these puny fish out of water. Why should they? Winter was coming, and their leaves would fall soon. That was when they would go into a deep sleep.

Why worry?

The two cars rounded their way through the winding, icy road until they came upon a small clearing. They came to a complete stop, and it was soon obvious about why.

This is a research facility? What a dump, one of the car's occupants thought.

Indeed, no one could have possibly expected that the building that lay before them carried out some of the latest technological achievements, or rather, biotechnological.

The men, and women, that lined up there after the cars had stopped didn't exactly fit the scene. Of the ten people there, six were special agents. One of them a woman, the others were severely over-muscled male bodyguards. They all wore pure black suits, a clip-on tie, black socks, black suits . . . everything black except for their white shirts.

The other four were dressed formally. One was a graying man in a blue suit with golden-laced buttons that went down his outer coat. Heavy bags under his eyes showed his experience with lack of sleep and stress. Although aged, his eyes still showed a glimmering spirit, a spirit that was losing hope.

The President was losing hope.

The other two men, Corporals O'Donnell and Grant, were dressed similarly to the older man, though they were both in green, and had much simpler attire. Their eyes showed youthful inexperience, a want for power, and most of all . . . greed.

O'Donnell was only about twenty-five or so, though his character was that of an even younger man. His pale blue eyes easily showed his wants while his dirty blond hair shone with his efforts to perfect himself.

Grant was slightly shorter than his companion, and had hazel eyes that blazed with anger and hatred, while his long, though nearly black, hair was held back with enough lubrication to grease a diesel engine. His oversized nose snorted with indignance and impatience as he waited for the President to decide whether or not he wanted to go inside. "This is gonna take a while," he muttered under his breath.

The final member of their group had short auburn hair that fell in miniature ringlets about her "flawless" face. The equally brown eyes showed no emotion, almost like her soul had been taken away.

Just like her family all those years ago.

Colonel Tarkovski shook her head, clearing away the nonexistent blur from her vision, and then nodded to the two younger men. Then at the President. "Ready?"

The older man wearily nodded his aching neck. "Yes."

She put on an icy smile. "Very well. And, Mr. President?"

"Yes?" His tired eyes looked up at her glittering features.

"Must we bring these bodyguards along?" She motioned with her hands at the undoubtedly large group of brainless thugs around her. "The information that you are about to see is highly classified, and I don't think that -."

"- Anyone who doesn't need to see the information doesn't see it," the President finished. "Understandable." He dismissed the bodyguards around him with a wave of his wrinkled hand.

They reluctantly complied. They went into the fancy cars that had been parked in front of the worn-out building and waited for their walking paycheck to return.

The large doors creaked open, revealing an interior that was as dreary and aged as the outside.

The President looked about the room. "If I am not mistaken, was there not supposed to be a military research facility here?"

"Yes, and in good time you will see it," Tarkovski said with a hint of impatience in her voice. "For now, just follow these two kind gentlemen. They will tell you everything you need to know." She turned towards a door that the President hadn't noticed was there.

"And where will you be?"

"I have some . . . errands, which must be done." The crazed glitter was back in her eyes. "Errands that cannot be overlooked at this moment."

The eyebrow that had been raised on the president's brow slowly lowered. "Very well."

O'Donnell and Grant saluted the Colonel, and then turned, motioning for the President to follow. They maneuvered their way through the rubble of the broken building. Streams of light came through holes in the ceiling, revealing several gashes along the wall. Each about a full inch wide, they were in groups of two, sometimes three. He continued to survey the scenery, spotting several broken-down chambers.

Bits of concrete lay like powder on the sides of the complex. A path had been cleared so it was relatively easy to move through the huge piles of rubble, but most of it had been left in place. Over to the left, he could see what looked like a giant bite out of the wall. Charred holes in the wall looked like they had been hit with rockets, and more of the gashes could be easily seen.

"I see you've made progress." It was a simple statement, though it still surprised the corporals.

"Yes," Grant said, a bit of his surprise showing through his militant mask, but it soon disappeared in his oily smile that followed. "The progress that you've requested has definitely been achieved."

They soon stopped in front of a barred door with a keypad on the side of it. "If secrecy was the point of putting it in this building, then this door here is going to be mighty suspicious." A slight smirk appeared on his wrinkled features.

"That is exactly why the entrance isn't here."

"Oh."

"Before you so rudely pointed out this door, I was going to tell you that this was our fake door. If any civilian that didn't happen to know that there was a government facility here, and say, got curious? The door wouldn't open, no matter how much they tried. There's nothing behind this door, besides wall." He stepped to the right a few meters, then pressed his hand against a particularly large crack. The crack opened up for a brief moment, a blue light went up and down the corporal's hand, and then the crack closed.

Farther to the right, the wall rose upward, much like a garage door. Grant grinned again. "The government is much more secret than you would think, even to their supposed leader."

The President smiled back. "However, I am still the commander in chief of the army, corporal."

Grant's smile disappeared, but he forced a straight face. "Yes, of course."

The three of them stepped through the door, and found themselves to be inside a small elevator. When the President brought up the point of how small it was, O'Donnell simply stated flatly, "There is another entrance for the larger equipment, but we don't have the pass codes to open that door."

"Why not?"

"Our rank, among other things." Grant's oily smile returned to take his features for a short time, only to disappear once again.

O'Donnell pressed a few buttons in succession, then they all felt a jolt as the elevator started down.

The lights dimmed due to the cables, which Grant was to explain about later. The elevator went down too far for the standard "weight on one end and cargo on the other" sort of pulley system. This elevator used "teeth" in the sides of the walls, which were moved in the needed position with an elaborate cable system. Since no one thing was connected, the electricity had to go through the cables. The power for the elevator lights never had a continuous connection to the power source. Thus, the mechanics made it impossible for something like high-powered lights in the elevator.

The President nodded, but made a mental note to get Grant's explanation in writing so he could review it. As the constant clicking slowed, the President felt his organs being pulled down as the velocity of the elevator lessened.

An abrupt thud signaled their arrival at their destination. Grant sighed in impatience as a few seconds passed. After which, a door opened in front of them. O'Donnell motioned for the President to go first, while he and Grant waited for him to pass.

Grant mumbled something under his breath, but the other corporal swiftly belted him upside the head for his comment with the edge of his hand. The quarrelsome corporal mumbled something again, but this time O'Donnell just glared at him.

He's not going to last long with that attitude, he thought to himself.

The elevator jolted again, and the door to an alien world never seen by the President opened.

"Shall we go, Mr. President?"

A nod. "Yes."

"Good. Off we go then." Grant stepped out of the elevator, completely ignoring the fact that the President tried to leave before him, but stopped for the corporal's ignorance.

O'Donnell shrugged in apology, waiting for his superior to go out first.

Hopefully, the President thought to himself, this wasn't going to have been a complete waste of ten billion dollars. Though it could possibly end up more depending on how long the project lasted.

He sighed. What was he getting himself into?