Thirty five large-screen monitors cast a grey-green glow over the room as technicians moved from console to console and either took notes or occasionally punched new information into keyboards. Most of the screens displayed a variety of updated information and sent it from one point to the next. But ten of the screens presented live video feed from different fixed locations around the city.
One monitor showed a bare stone wall, while another was fixed on a dank alley. A field of grass waved across another screen and others presented interior shots of several different empty rooms. These ten screens also gave additional information for each location, including readouts of ambient air temperature, humidity readings and an ion count to detect any static charge buildup in the immediate area. The soft hum of machinery and an occasional keystroke were the only noticeable sounds in the room.
Then an alarm went off.
Technicians dashed to their duty stations as one of the feed screens began flashing with a wide red border. Overhead a speaker spat out the words—"Rift Alert! Rift Alert! Rift Alert!"
One technician spoke into a headset. "Yes, sir… sector Three Niner Seven, mark One One Eight. It’s a repeater, sir."
A "repeater" meant the incoming Rift site was one of many that had already been used by aliens on at least one previous occasion. The Rift itself was a tear in the fabric of space/time and served as a temporary doorway which allowed creatures from other dimensions to enter their world. This was why they had several key locations in the city under constant surveillance.
Captain Raal, of the "Rift Attack Team," was on the receiving end of that headset conversation. The R.A.T. was formed for two reasons: to destroy aliens from other dimensions who decided to invade their world and to anticipate where a Rift would occur and thus be prepared for the invaders when they arrived.
"Got it," Raal snapped and then clicked the link off. An alarm also sounded in the R.A.T. ready room as the captain shouted out orders and his special team of fighters grabbed up equipment and loaded their vehicles. By the time the large bay doors opened, they were ready to roll through the exit.
The team arrived at the Rift site with little time to spare. As Raal climbed out of the truck his skin crawled as a static charge began to build in the alley. But his men knew what would happen next and quickly set up the containment field energy transponders. The rest of the team took up positions surrounding the Rift site and checked their weapons.
The energy transponders created a containment force field around the coordinates of the developing Rift site. Normal force fields protected personnel inside its barrier from enemy attacks while simultaneously allowing their own weapons to return fire through the defensive field. Containment fields worked in the opposite manner, protecting those outside the barrier from the enemy confined inside and permitting a one way stream of fire from the outside in.