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Phobos: Anomaly Reborn E1M1

Phobos: Anomaly Reborn is a PWAD level set for The Ultimate Doom created by Christopher Lutz and released on January 2, 2003. The episode features a similar design as Lutz's other levels, with highly detailed and realistic environments. Examples of such include a moving train and a hangar with ships and transport rails. The episode was included in Doomworld's Top 100 WADs of All Time list.

Thematically the episode serves as a replacement of the first Doom episode. However, it is much more difficult than the original, with bigger puzzles and stronger enemies appearing earlier. For example, the baron of hell appears in the second level instead of first appearing as the episode's boss.

Story

PHOBOS: ANOMALY REBORN

He remembered staring out the window of the giant spacecraft, trying not to think. Stars slowly crawled across the viewport, inching ever onwards in the hollow void surrounding the ship.

Why the hell am I going back?

He was the only passenger, and his sigh echoed in the empty chamber. The massive, hulking craft held but one man. Standard military procedure, he thought. Nothing short of fucking ridiculous. Let’s haul out an Infitum Class star cruiser for one freaking marine. Not that anyone would want to come with him; he was the only person who survived the...incident before. ‘Course, the irony is that what followed was infinitely worse. They thought Phobos was bad...

Phobos. Home sweet home, he thought, and sighed again.


He remembered the corporal at the temporary military post, sitting nervously in his government-issue regulation plastic chair, squirming to get comfortable. "Of course, it is an honor to meet you," the corporal had said, wiping his hand on his pants before offering it. "I don’t know what to say, how amazed...what you did, what you went through..." He trailed off, eyes darting around the room like tiny fireballs, searching for something to say. He rather enjoyed the corporal’s unease, and stared straight at him, waiting a long time before speaking.

"What now?" The corporal jolted at his voice.

"Er, well, there seems to be another...situation, that’s, um, developing, sir..." He finally got it out. "It’s really not that different from the last time, and we are seeing the same patterns, the same...creatures, you know, the brown things, you...of course you remember..."

"Of course."

Tiny droplets of sweat began to pick their way down the corporal’s forehead; he seemed to be waiting for another question, or an explanation. But there was only silence. "Er, well, we brought you here...we were hoping you might use your first-hand experience to advise us, sir...no combat, of course, just--"

"I know why I am here." The corporal flinched when he broke in. "Simple reconnaissance and advice. Lecture the troops before sending them in. I got it."

The corporal was pale, his underarms wet, his shirt stained. When he spoke, it was a very faint, "Of course, sir, of course..."


He remembered the briefing document, handed to him before he climbed into the small reconnaissance plane. Like the plastic chairs and the empty cruiser, it, too, was government-issue. REPORT ON THE OCCURRENCES... he read, as his eyes glazed. He skipped down, wondering why they had even bothered.

Construction on UAC Research Colony Beta, hereafter referred to as ‘Site B,’ began soon after the completion and a successful operational commencement of UAC Research Colony Alpha (‘Site A’). A barrage of facts concerning Site B followed; operational capacities, occupant restriction codes, pages of inscrutable numbers and abbreviations. During the tunneling procedure for the construction of the underground testing chambers -- Testing what?, he wondered with a dark scowl -- a series of artifacts were uncovered. These artifacts were of unknown origin, and standard scientific analytical procedures revealed that the artifacts were endowed with unusual properties (see figures 14-35). Another scowl crossed his face as he realized that pages were missing; the description of the artifact properties had been neatly removed.

Further excavations revealed a series of architectural structures, consistent in style and obviously constructed with great skill. Similar abnormal readings were... And it ended; again, apparently "Reconnaissance and advice" didn’t mean security clearance. Instead, typed at the bottom of the blank last page was a simple note that said "Further scientific inquiries were halted when Site A was attacked. First recorded activity at Site B (Sgt. H. Conner found eviscerated in Toxin Refinery) 12 days ago."

Home sweet home, he thought again.


He remembered trying to aim for the hangar, praying he had enough altitude. The sirens were deafening, maddening. Fuckers, he cursed. No shit there are abnormalities. All systems had failed, suddenly, as he flew over the abandoned dig site, and the ship began to fall -- now all the dials were spinning, the computer screens were spitting out random characters, the sirens are fucking louder than they were before...


He remembered thinking that he wasn’t going to make the hangar.

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