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Day X

By Ryne Darke

http://www.sortadarkereviews.blogspot.com

Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2017  Darke Reads Publishing

All rights reserved. 

This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal. 

This is a work of fiction. All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.



Table of content

Chapter 1a: Page 10

Chapter 1b: Day I

Chapter 2a: Page 12

Chapter 2b: Day II

Chapter 3a: Page 32

Chapter 3b: Day IV

Chapter 4a: Page 40

Chapter 4b: Day V

Chapter 5a: Page 60

Chapter 5b: Day VII

Chapter 6a: Page 82

Chapter 6b: Day VIII

Chapter 7a: Page 83

Chapter7b: Day IX

Chapter 8a: Page 102

Chapter 8b: Day X

Translations



Page 10

Our base won't work anymore...

it's overrun... something escaped -- someone

Not enough space, not enough protection, too much corruption.

I expected more discipline with those from the military but I guess 

I'm being naïve....

.....that was their downfall....

A lot has been lost.............

.......Mostly hope.

....don't know where we're going...but...

I'll follow him til the end of time...

.....And even after that.

Day 1

"You sure you know where you're going?" Trish whispered, tugging her hair free from one of the screws lining the vent. They had been crawling through the dusty vent for what felt like hours.

"Yes. I've worked here longer than you've used this place as a sanctuary," Eien said. He tapped at the vent wall with the torch in his hand. "Besides, we're more safe in here than the rest of the group."

"I've watched enough movies to know how this will end for me..." Trish mumbled under her breath.

"Beruhig dich-"

"-I ain't your sister. Speak English-"

"-Stop fidgeting. These vents may be strong, but it wasn't built with two people worming through it in mind."

"You gotta understand why I'm scared shitless." She continued to ramble unintelligible things under her breath.

Eien huffed. "Your husband is better company."

"Watch it," Trish hissed. A sudden groaning and clicking sound halted their speech.

Eerrrrrrrrr...

"Please tell me that was your stomach," Trish whimpered. They both paused in their movement. The vent below them jolted with another groan.

"Scheisse!" Eien cried. The vent jolted again. The screws in the metal lining in front of Eien came loose before the vent went crashing downward. Both Trish and Eien gave a shriek of terror.

They came to a crashing stop right before the compartment Eien lay in touched the ground. The vent hung a few centimeters off the ground. Eien crawled out of the vent, helping Trish out afterwards. They looked around at their surroundings in vain. It was pitch black. Even the torch's light couldn't penetrate the darkness.

"Where the hell are we?" Trish asked. She looked at Eien as the taller man tapped at the watch on his wrist. A holographic display appeared above his wrist showing different types of data and numbers that she couldn't understand. The screens, one by one, showed a blinking 'error' over their display. Eien sucked his teeth.

"My COM isn't working. Something in here is interfering with it," he said. He tapped the device again and the screens blinked out. "We need to find a light switch."

"I can barely find my hand in front of me."

"We're going to have to feel around."

"What if there's something in here?"

"If we can't see it, I doubt it can see us."

"What if it can smell us? What if it can hear us or feel the vibration of our voices or steps?"

"You need to calm down before it smells your fear." Eien chuckled. He huffed when Trish smacked him in the back of his head.

"Boy, quit playing with me! Don't say shit like that when it's a high possibility."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, geez!" Eien grumbled as he rubbed the back of his head. "Hold on to my pack, we need to stay together." Without further coaxing, Trish took hold of Eien's backpack. The silver-blond slowly led them through the darkness, cursing whenever his foot caught on something.

"Why is it so dark? What happened to your flashlight?"

"It died." Eien slid his hand along the cold, metal wall. There were smooth and pointed grooves along the wall, some occasionally blinked with a faint red glow. "Ah!" Eien exclaimed in triumph when his hand hit a button. The lights flashed on, blinding them in its glare.

They looked around the room, Trish with confusion and Eien with shock. The room was large, filled with many different computers and hubs. Black, grated metal made up the walls, floor, and ceiling. From their standing position, it was hard to tell where the ground ended and where the wall began. There were four large vats filled with glowing green liquid in the middle of the room. There were an extra three surrounding those, but they were empty -- one of them was shattered. "Where are we?"

"We're in the lab," Eien said.

"What?" Trish whispered harshly. "Lab? This place has a lab?"

"It was a military facility-"

Trish waved her hand dismissively. "How far are we from the medical bay?"

"We're three hallways away." Eien looked up at the vent still attached to the ceiling. "There is no way we're going through the vents to get there...we're going to have to go through the.... halls..." Eien looked at the double doors on the far left side of the room. They were shut tight, a fleeting feeling of panic surged through Eien’s mind before he settled down just as quickly. He was feeling a bit claustrophobic now.

"Fuck that! This place is crawling with walkers. Let's get what we can from the lab and leave."

Eien gave her a pointed look before gesturing at the vent. "How do you suppose we go back?" 

Trish said nothing as she walked about the room. She stepped up to one of the vats and placed a hand on it. Eien watched her only briefly before bringing his attention to the large computer hub in front of him. He logged into the terminal, a bright blue kite flashed across the screen welcoming him back to KLIA. His attention was only brought back to Trish when she began speaking again: "Eien, what the hell are in these giant test tubes?"

"They're called vats. Experiments -- the scientists were attempting to find a cure for the infection. I can't tell how far they got," Eien replied. Trish and Eien’s gaze met briefly before the silver-blond went back to tapping away at the holographic display on the computer station. "This is why I couldn't use my COM..."

"One of the vat things is broke," Trish said, gaining Eien's attention immediately.

"What?" Eien followed Trish's gaze to the shattered vat. "What label is on there?"

"Experiment S09SDAX5." There was a slight pause where neither Trish nor Eien spoke; the only sound that could be heard was Eien’s fingers flying across the console. "What was in it?"

"We need to leave...now."

"That's what we're--" She halts mid-sentence. Eien shot his gaze up to her, his brows creasing in worry.

"Trish? Patricia?" She didn't respond. Instead, she made a garbled noise as blood bubbled from her mouth. Eien's eyes widened. "Trish?" He took a step back when she jolted forward. She stopped short of hitting the ground and that's when Eien took notice of the three tentacle-like appendages protruding from her back. Eien followed the limbs with his eyes to its source -- something behind the broken vat. "T-Trish?" Eien slowly walked backwards towards the exit.

Trish's body lifted up off the ground, the tentacle-like appendages bursting through her front, spraying blood in their wake. A low growl pulled Eien's attention away from the gory scene to the large thing coming from behind the vat. The creature was a hulk of a person. Its large head was nearly sightless with little to no skin to speak of.  It had one red eye, half covered by smooth muscle while the other was completely covered. It had dagger like teeth with an under bite that can only be called orcish in nature. It looked like a creature that stepped out of a fantasy comic. It growled low, its eye set solely on its feast.

The creature quickly drew Trish to it and opened its mouth wide before taking a large chomp. Eien quickly turned his gaze away as the creature snapped its jaws down on Trish's body, severing her head and shoulders from the rest of her body. Eien could hear the crunching of bones and the squelch of blood as the creature chewed.

Eien quickly made a beeline for the door, tripping on loose wires, tubes, and even his own feet as he went. When he got to the door, he was horrified to find the power to the console was dead. No matter how many times or how hard he jabbed the open button next to the door, the console continued to show a blinking red "ERROR" across its projection.

The creature's growls were getting louder, its feasting drawing to a close. Eien peeked over his shoulder. The creature was looking at him now, slowly stalking towards him. Eien pressed his back against the double-doors and stared on in horror as his death approached. "Oh deity...no..." he whispered silently.

skskskskssssskskksksskskssksoskskskskkskkks

It was nothing but a whisper of air, but he heard it. As the creature got closer, the whispering got louder but stayed unintelligible. Eien whimpered and turned his head away when the creature leaned into him. The whispering stopped. Eien chanced a peek up at the creature. It was still staring at him. Its mouth suddenly opened and Eien clenched his eyes closed.

A warm, wet sensation made his eyes snap open again. A long, slimy, slippery appendage -- a tongue, its tongue-- slipped out of its mouth and was now gliding across Eien's skin. Eien shivered in disgust as the tongue moved from his neck to his cheek. The creature pulled its tongue back into its mouth before standing up straight.

This is it, Eien thought miserably, I am going to die here the same way Trish did.

A jarring, loud creaking jolted Eien out of his dark musings. He looked up and to his surprise, the creature was pulling the double doors open. The creature got down on its hands and knees and scuttered away in the blink of an eye. Eien took a sharp intake of breath. For something as large as that-- it moved like a lizard. Eien looked over at the other two empty vats.

"What the fuck just happened?" Eien asked the empty room.

S H I F T . . . . . . .



Page 12

...I COULD HAVE SAVED HER...



                           why didn't it come after me?



                               ......he blames me....



I blame me. He's glaring at me.



                        ...He scares me sometimes...



Day II

Eien grunted as his head was slammed none too gently into the metal wall. The room he was currently in had a look and feel similar to the lab from earlier, though it was much more smaller. It was a storage space but was transformed into their rendezvous port. “Where the fuck is she?" Fiery brown orbs stared into green. Eien clawed at the tight grip around his throat. He couldn't answer even if he wanted to. 

"Bryan, let him go! He can't breathe," a woman, the splitting image of Eien, shouted.

"Stay out of this, Sera. This is between me and this little shit," Bryan growled, his grip tightening. "Where the fuck is she? Why didn't she come back with you, huh?"

"Bryan!" Sera screamed, grabbing the man by the shoulder. Bryan's reaction was instantaneous. He threw his arm out, roughly pushing Sera away. Sera squeaked in surprise as she's thrown across the room, landing hard on her arm with a shriek of pain.

"Bryan--" a man twice the size of Bryan stepped behind him but halted before he could say anything further by the gun pointed at his head.

"Take another step, Vicktor, and I swear to fucking god, I will end you," Bryan hissed. "Where the fuck is she?"

"She's...gone..." Eien choked out.

"Why? How the fuck did you live a--" Bryan's eyes narrowed. "You used her, didn't you? I knew I couldn't fucking trust you! I TOLD HER NOT TO GO WITH YOU! YOU'RE GOING TO--" Bryan was abruptly cut off by a resounding WHAM --  as someone's fist collided with the back of his head. The force of the hit made him drop Eien, who fell to his hands and knees, gasping for the precious air he was denied moments ago.

"Fuck off, Bryan," Bryan's assaulter hissed. Eien looked up at his saving grace with a grateful smile.

"Thank you, David," Eien mumbled. David simply nodded.

"Before you all kill each other," Carl spoke suddenly, gaining everyone’s attention. He was on the far left side of the room, standing in the corner with a rolled up, white paper in his hand. He turned towards the square, metal protrusion coming out of the wall. Using it as a table, he rolled out a map. "Come check this out."

"What are these," Vicktor asked. There's a chorus of similar remarks from the other people in the room.

"These are blueprints. Eien, since you're the only one who worked in this shit hole that's still alive, we're going to need you on this." 

"Ahem!" Sera clearing her throat went ignored.

"Better send the asshole in alone or you'll be dead too," Bryan growled, glaring at Eien. "When I get my hands on you--"

"You won't," David said, his blank stare boring holes into Bryan. Bryan growled as David helped Eien to his feet. The tall, dark-skinned man narrowed his eyes, using his towering form to block Eien from Bryan's view. "You touch him again..." He trailed off slowly.

"What are the blueprints for?" Sera asked, rubbing her sore arm. Vicktor wrapped an arm around her waist, glaring at Bryan.

"Some type of tank," Carl said. "It says--"

"The Land Shark?" Eien asked. "This is a prototype vehicle that has been under development for quite some time. It's nowhere near operational."

"Can you get it drivable? It's the only thing in here that'd fit all of us in it to get the hell out of here," Carl said, frowning.

"I can get it to move but all the features listed in the blueprint won't work."

"Then do it. Where is the tank?"

"The docking sector. It's...on the other side of the base."

"Isn't there a car that goes directly over there?" Sera asked. Eien looked at her with a nod.

"But the power to the locks are down. I couldn't even open the lab door when--" Eien went silent, looking away.

skskskskskskskskksksksksksk

That whispering... Eien closed his eyes and lowered his head.

"Eien?"

Eien looked up. Sera was standing in front of him, clutching his shoulders tightly. "It's not your fault, Eien," she whispers softly.

"The fuck it ain't! I- mmm..." David cut his eyes to Bryan, instantly quieting whatever retort he was preparing.

"It's settled. Bryan, David, and Vicktor, you guys go with him."

"WHAT?" Bryan screamed. "You want me--"

"You and Vicktor have experience with engineering. Eien is gonna need all the muscle and brain power he can get to get that fucking thing running before something finds us or him. David'll be there to keep the peace."

"Right..." Eien mumbled.

S H I F T . . . . . . .



Page 32

He's gone....



               .....that thing came back...



....why does it spare me....



                     ....i'm not sure why they blamed him....



...he acts no different than i remember.



Day IV

The door had only budged enough for Eien to slip through. He had set to working on the Land Shark while the other three men found another entrance. When they did manage to get into the docking sector, Eien noticed that Bryan was missing. "Where is Bryan?" Eien had asked. Vicktor glanced at David but David said nothing. 

"We get split up," Vicktor had said, gazing at Eien. "He does not make it. There's...something stalking halls...Nothing like walkers we've come across." 

skskskskksksskskkskskksk

Eien looked at the closed double doors silently. He already knew that.

. . .

. .

.

Eien wiped his brow, backing away from the opened hatch at the side of the Land Shark. The Land Shark was a large modified tank, looking to be a cross between a battle submarine and a tank. The entirety of its metal framing was done with thick green metal -- where the military managed to get the quantity needed to make the whole thing-- that was still a mystery to Eien. The bottom of the ship was what made it look like a submarine, as it was ballooned out in darker green material. The top of the ship was where the heavy artillery was at: a giant machine gun, two rocket launchers, and a laser cannon.

The room it was held in was large, possibly eight stories tall as it was wide. There were only three doors in the large room: The large gate at the front of the tank, the gate outside; the door on the right of the room, the entrance to the car that ran from this side of the base to the other; and the door on the left, which led out to the hall. 

Eien tapped at his COM to bring up the holographic screen. He tapped at the modules showing the Land Shark’s data. "We're all set for motion," Eien said, looking away from his COM to the two men leaning against the tank. "We just need to get everyone here."

"It only took two days," Vicktor grunted. "How do we get everyone here?" Eien points towards the previously slightly ajar door. The gap between the doors was much larger now.

"When did that happen?"

Eien looked up at Vicktor.

skskkskskskskskkskskkskskksk....

Bang!

Eien looked over to the double doors. He took a sharp intake of breath at the three wiggling appendages slipping through the crack. He quickly ducked behind one of the cargo crates littering the large hall of a room. The door made a loud groan and crack as it was forced open on its mechanical track. 

skskkskskksksksk

That whispering noise was there again. Eien knew it was that creature from before. He peeked around the box to see that the creature had managed to pull the door apart enough to get in. Eien sat back straight against the crate and took quiet deep breaths to calm himself.

It couldn't have known he was in here, could it have? Eien closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the crate. All he had to do was be silent until it left, right? Eien opened his eyes and jumped, gasping sharply. The creature stood silently over him, staring with its one able eye. Eien whimpered as the creature leaned in close, those wet things -- Eien assumed it was its tongues -- slid over his skin, leaving warm, wet, thick secretions in its wake.

The tentacles on its back come around its body to slide across Eien's face, through his light clothing and touch -- touch everything... Eien squeezed his eyes shut, willing the creature to go away.

skskskksskkskskksk....

And just as soon as the creature was there with all its limbs -- it was gone. Eien opened his eyes at the absence of the disturbing touch. Was it just his imagination or was it really there?

"Eien?" Eien was brought out of his reverie by light slapping on his face. "Are you alright?" Eien looked up into worried grey orbs. "What happened?"

"I'm...okay.... the creature tried to get in here..." Eien looked away. Vicktor frowned.

S H I F T . . . . . . .



Page 40

 carl....



                                       ...carl....



                                   ..... CArl...



      ...CaRl.....



                                                      ...cArL....



carl....



                                .....CARL....



carl....

Carl Newhavan; Male; Late 30s; Firefighter (Pre-Apocalypse)

Family: Whole Family (Deceased), Sera (Ex-Girlfriend)

Deathday: Day V

Cause of Death: Them



Day V

You should listen to this while you read: https://youtu.be/1vHPuxMo5aY

Carl was a man of good qualities: He was smart, brave, loyal – the epitome of a great leader. He knew when something was a lost cause, he knew when to give up, and he knew when to try harder. Thus, he was the self-proclaimed leader of the group and no one objected. He'd been surviving on his own for years; he knew more about the zombies than anyone else. To say Eien was surprised at what he saw when he walked back to their rendezvous port would be the understatement of the year. 

The door had been busted through, not pulled open like what the creature would do. There was a large hole in the middle of the metal door -- doors that were reinforced to stand a tank ramming into them. These doors were unbreakable yet there was a hole...

Eien pressed his back into the wall, peering around the edge of the hole. The room was semi-dark, a few of the light fixtures flickering in and out. Crunching, squelching, gnawing, whispering... this was all Eien could hear.

It wasn't the whispering he'd grown to associate with the creature...this was louder, less clear... darker...

As soon as Eien took a step inside, the noise stopped and the lights flickered on. A hunched over something sat at the far end of the room. Jona Jones, the back of his t-shirt read. Eien looked away briefly. That shirt... Carl.

The hunched over man was hovering over what was left of a corpse. The person's neck was split wide, claw and teeth marks all over their face -- eyes, nose, and part of their head missing. Blood gushed everywhere. Their innards lay spilled from their stomach, half severed and hanging from between clenched jaws -- he turned around. Eien stared into glowing red eyes. The insatiable hunger in those red orbs was unmistakable. This was Carl some few hours ago but now...now it was a husk filled with rage and hunger for something that would never be quenched.

It lunged.

Bang!

Eien wasn't sure when he had pulled the gun from the holster on his side. He wasn't sure when he'd pointed it at him. All he knew was Carl was gone and his transformed body given mercy. "Carl..." Eien dropped his hand as Carl's lifeless body dropped to the ground, blood pouring from the bullet wound in the middle of his forehead. "Where did everyone go?"

Rattling from the left side of the room caught his eye. It was coming from the storage locker. He walked over to the towering, silver metal doors and tapped on it three times. It opened slowly.

"Eien?" Sera whispered, staring up at him. Eien let out a breath of relief as he enveloped his twin in a tight hug. "Everyone...they all...it was horrible...he turned right in front of us...." She sobbed quietly.

"Are you the only one?" Eien asked softly.

"Mariella..." Sera pulled away from Eien and opened the locker more. Mariella sat at the far end of the locker, half-curled into herself. Her long locks of brown, curly hair shielded most of her slight frame from sight.

"The Land Shark is done," Eien said. Sera looked at him and frowned.

"The car works?"

"Yeah, let's go before something else shows up." Eien helped Sera and Mariella out of the locker. Mariella peered through her bangs at the silver-blond man.

“W-What’s the car?” Mariella asked.

“It’s like a train,” Eien explained, walking towards the exit. He peered through the hole, looking down both ways of the hall. “It runs in four directions through the entire base. It has a stop in each major hall.” Eien turned to look at the two women. “The hall is clear for now. Let’s go.”

The two nodded and followed after him.

S H I F T . . . . . . .



Page 60

...not sure how much more madness i can take...



....I hear them whisper....



...she's gone.





Day VII

It had been days. Most of the group was dead -- only Vicktor, David, Eien, Mariella, and Sera remained. Their exit was cut off because the power to the locks was still down.

Vicktor continued working on the Land Shark with occasional instruction from Eien. David ventured off into other parts of the base to find supplies to pack the tank with. Sera and Mariella would sometimes venture off, too, to Vicktor's chagrin. David refused to allow Eien out of the room.

This continued for about three days. And each day that dragged on, Eien became noticeably antsier. 

"Alles Klar?" Sera asked. Eien looked up from fiddling with his COM. He frowned at her.

"Ja, why wouldn't I be okay? It's not like everyone is dead and probably roaming the halls. Not like there's a fucking large thing walking around that's capable of bursting through doors meant to keep tanks out at any minute. I'm just peachy sitting here stuck in a room that could potentially be my grave too! Just fine!"

"Eien, your sister--"

"Mir wurst," Eien snapped, cutting Vicktor off. Vicktor narrowed his eyes as Eien dropped his arms to his side. "I found a way to the medical bay."

"Tío, mira," Mariella said. Eien looked up at the girl. She sat on top of the tank, swinging her legs. She had a map in her hand.

"Is that--?"

"The map of the base. When Carl lost it, I grabbed it and put it in my book bag." She patted the pink bunny pack sitting next to her. "I heard you talking about the doors being locked so I was looking at the map while me and Sera were getting things." She climbed down from the tank and approached Eien. "There's an emergency generator in this place, right?"

"Yeah, It kicks in automatically. It's supposed to power only the important things until the switch is pushed. Not sure where it is, though," Eien said.

"Feh! Obviously locks weren't deemed important enough to include," Vicktor grunted.

"The generator is under the lab," Mariella continued. "If we can get to the medical bay, we can take the stairs by the door and get to it."

"Stairs…that side of the medical bay is blocked." Eien said, his brows furrowing. "It's infested with something worst than walkers. They can't see but they can smell." Eien pointed his thumb to the door on the left. "If we go all the way around, we could possibly slip through."

There was a pregnant pause.

"I'll go," Eien and Sera spoke in unison. David and Vicktor looked at them. Their eyes met briefly and then they turned on Eien and Sera.

"No you won't," David and Vicktor said in unison. 

"Dios mio -- Someone has to go! Maybe I will go!" Mariella cried. "I don't want what happened to Carl to happen to you guys..."

"You're not going either, zvyozdochka," Vicktor huffed. "David and I will go."

"What if there is somewhere you can't fit?" Sera asked. She placed her hands on her hip and leaned forward slightly. "You'll need either me or Eien!"

"If we cannot fit, we weren't meant," Vicktor said, bringing his gun up to his face. He turned it over in his hand. He cocked the handgun once and pointed it at the ground. "Shall we?" He looked at David and he nodded. 

"You don't even know which way you're going!" Sera stepped in front of Vicktor and crossed her arms. Vicktor scowled. He grabbed her by the arm and snatched the watch off her wrist. "What are you-?"

"This. We will use this. Eien, you will guide us."

"But-!" Eien snapped his mouth closed when Vicktor narrowed his eyes.

"You will guide us through COM. This is not negotiable. Sera, you fear these things and Eien hesitates. You two will not go."

"You--hnng..." Sera trailed off and scowled. "Fine." She snatched her hand away.

"I love you." Vicktor leaned down and kissed her on the temple. 

"I love you, too," Sera sighed, looking up at him. 

Eien looked up at David as the taller man stepped next to him with a grin. Eien narrowed his eyes at him. "What?"

"I love you," David said.

"Du bist frech..." Eien grumbled while Sera giggled. "Depp....guess I love you?"

"Only guess?" David asked, leaning over Eien. Eien's face flushed. 

"What is this?" He asked slowly.

"I'd ship it," Sera said, giggling. Eien shot her a look.

"What did you do?" Eien growled. Sera whistled and clasped her hands behind her back as she made her way back to the tank. "Seralin Kulvosk-- if you-"

"Oh hush, Eien," Sera giggled. "He'd have to be blind to not see what big of a crush you have." She grinned. "I just...helped a little."

"Quatsch! Mein Gott, Du bist frech..." Eien growled, hiding his reddening face in his hands.

"What can I say," David said, pulling Eien's hands away from his face, "I'm a sucker for green eyes." He planted a quick kiss on Eien's lips and pulled away.

"Oooo! David and Eien sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G," Mariella sang, hopping up on the tank along with Sera.

"Sei ruhig!" Eien snapped. Sera and Mariella continued to giggle and sing.

. . .

. .

David and Vicktor left for the backup generator some few hours ago. Eien worked on the Land Shark in the meantime, managing to fix the communication radio. Both Mariella and Sera had been speaking with Vicktor and David through the tank while Eien stood outside fiddling with his COM.

He'd been going through what little he was able to download from the lab's computers on the experiments they were conducting. Apparently people retained their conscious mind for a few months after they're turned. They're trapped in the husk that is their body, forced to experience the hunger pangs the infection inflicts on them -- forced to carry out the diabolical act of cannibalism to remedy the hunger that never fades. What hell that must be.

Eien sucked his teeth. He still couldn't find any in-depth analysis on the escaped experiment other than it being extremely hostile. Eien theorized that this escaped experiment might have been what started the infection spread in the base. The question poised now was:  why was this thing kept alive if it was that dangerous.

"Experiment S09SDAX5, alias Hulk. Subject shows minimum sentience. No verbal diction is offered when shown images. Subject is extremely volatile. Plans to suspend research are being processed. Experiment D39N53 shows more sentience and recognition. Blood sample shows infection creates and destroys itself at will. More study is needed. Experiment EG7D5GH shows complete sentience. Blood sample shows infection is rejected. More study is needed for isolated genes."

What are experiments D39N53 and EG7D5GH? Eien frowned. The lab did have three empty vats. Could the other two empty ones not broken belong to these two experiments? If they didn't break out, who let them out? Experiment EG7D5GH-- this was the cure... "They actually did find it." Eien mumbled out loud.

"What was that?" Sera asked, coming out of the tank. Eien glanced up at her. "They found the generator. The doors should be working now."

"The scientist -- they found the cure. They cured the infection," Eien mumbled. Sera's eyes widened.

"What? Where is it?" She exclaimed.

" Experiment EG7D5GH is wandering around somewhere in the base. That is the cure. The blood of this experiment rejects the infection. I need to get to the lab and download the rest of the research files."

"But, there is so many walkers in that hall!" Sera cried. "You can't go alone -- I'll go with you!"

"You need to stay with Mariella until David and Vicktor comes back. You're the only other person that knows the clearance code for the door."

"But--!" Sera jumped down off the tank. "You can't go alone, what if you're surrounded?"

"I went alone to get you and Mariella, didn't I?" Eien walked over to one of the cargo crates and popped it open. He rummaged around through the crate, pushing through scrap metal and pieces of plastic in odd shapes. He finally found something of use and pulled it out of the crate. It was a machete with a precarious green glow surrounding its blade. He patted his side where his gun holster rested, turning to face his sister. "I'll be fine. It won't take long to download the rest of the files to my COM."

"What if something attacks you?" Sera rushed over to Eien and clutched his shoulders. "I'm not going to lose you to these disgusting things, Eien. I refuse!"

"We need this...If we could get this experiment to another base, we could end this apocalypse!"

"You can't end something that has already happened..." Sera frowned at him.

"You know what I mean. No more incidents like Carl...or mother..."

"Okay...just be careful. I want periodic signals from you to let me know you're okay!" Sera placed her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes. "You know David isn't going to be happy that I let you out of this room." Eien crossed his arms, his eyes narrowing.

"..." Eien snorted silently. “Is that your way of convincing me not to go? It’s not working, just so you know.”

Sera smiled suddenly. "I love you, little brother."

"You're only older by three minutes!" Eien growled and Sera giggled.

S H I F T . . . . . . .



Page 82

she doesn't understand...



...she'll never understand....



...I don't understand.



Day VIII

You should listen to this while you read: https://youtu.be/-mf-2IvtGrc

There was not a single ounce of wall or floor that wasn't covered in blood. Eien had gotten to the lab without running into anything but gore. He took the car back to the other side of the base and walked the hall to the lab sector. There was nothing but half eaten corpses and decaying body parts strewn everywhere. He slipped through the doors of the lab, went straight to the computer hub, and logged back into the terminal. The ‘Welcome to KLIA’ splash screen flashed briefly across the hub. Being brought to the main screen, Eien went straight to looking for anything he could find on the three missing experiments.

Tapping at his COM, he cursed silently. There wasn't much space left. He would have to focus on downloading experiments D39N53 and EG7D5GH and searching hulk on the hub itself.

Typing the experiments names into the console, Eien let out a breath. There were thousands of files on D39 and EG7 but mostly EG7. There weren't that many files on 'Hulk'. Hulk was to be a bioweapon to combat the undead that were plaguing the world. Hulk preferred to feast on decaying flesh rather than living beings. But his volatile nature made it impossible to control him, thus there were a number of deaths that didn't make it into official reports. There goes the theory on hulk causing the infection to spread.

If hulk only feasted on the dead, what was that thing that ate Trish? Eien frowned. And why does it keep touching me?

Eien pulled up one of the files on D39. "Subject is only half sentient. Intelligence is increased when Subject D39N53 and EG7D5GH are within the same vicinity--"

"So D39 and EG7 are familiar with each other?" Eien mumbled under his breath.

sksksksksksskskskskskskskksks...

Eien looked up at the whispering. The creature. As he expected, the whispering grew louder and the three limbs of the creature poked in the door before the rest of its body. The creature looked at him and growled, stalking towards him. This time, Eien didn't move. He watched it's slow approach. As before, the creature's tongue shot of its mouth and slid across Eien's skin. This wasn't hulk. Hulk ate the dead, this creature ate the living-- and yet, it did nothing but lick him.

"You're experiment D39..." Eien whispered as the creature's back-limbs wrapped around his wrists. "Does that...does that mean I'm EG7? I'm the cure?" The creature suddenly pulled away. It got down on its hands and knees and scuttled out of the room. "Wait!" Eien gave chase.

...

..

.

Eien’s chase was short lived. It wasn't actually chasing, more so guessing the direction the creature had gone into. He was trailing a ghost and that trail led him to the medical bay. Oddly enough, the hall was completely empty. The medical bay doors had a similar hole in it that the rendezvous port had-- This must be hulk's doing. I wonder where he is. Against his better judgment, Eien ducked into the busted door. The emergency lights were on in the room, but not the main lights.

The medical bay was a long stretch of a room. On one side of the room, there was a slightly lowered ceiling with numbers on it. Under each of those numbers was a bed. Majority of those beds had blood on them. Over the beds and on the ceiling of the lowered wall, there were lights -- these were on as opposed to the lights in the middle of the main ceiling.

As much attention as he paid to looking around, he failed to notice the sounds coming from behind him until it was too late. He turned around just in time to see a shadowy figure lunge at him. He let out a startled cry as he and the shadow fell to the ground. He brought up his arm to protect his face and felt a sharp, slicing pain as whatever jumped on him bit into his arm.

He cried out in pain as the stinging pain turned into a burning sensation. He shoved his hand on the lower jaw of the creature, jamming it between the thing’s teeth and his arm. He tried to make sure whatever was on top of him didn't lock its jaws on him and ended up cutting up his hand and fingers in the process.

It was a walker. Purely muscle, no skin, no eyes. Just teeth, jaws, and hunger. How hadn't he heard it approach? Why had he been so careless? Why had he tried to follow that damned creature in the first place? Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid! He attempted to use his grip on the zombie’s lower jaw to push it away and the zombie clenched its jaws even tighter in response. It’s no use. It was too strong.

"Eien!"

The sudden cry of his name distracted him from his self-berating. The zombie was yanked off of him, dragging its teeth along his arm and ripping more of his flesh. He hissed in pain and looked up. It was David. David’s eyes were drawn to Eien’s arm. Seeing his wound, David's expression darkened.

He slammed the zombie into the ground by its neck. He revved back his arm and smashed it in the face with his right fist, then his left, right, left, right, left -- he continued to pummel the zombie, even after there was nothing left to pummel. There was a puddle of infected blood pooling around his and the zombie's form, the head long since gone since he started his heated punches.

"David," Eien cried as he pulled himself off the ground and stumbled over to the larger man. “David, stop!” Eien dropped to his knees in the puddle of blood. “Stop, David, it’s over!” He gripped David’s shoulder and shook it. “David!” David’s wild eyes turned to him. Eien clutched the man's heaving shoulders. "Stop..." David abruptly stood, pulling Eien up with him. He clutched Eien's head in both hands. "...It's okay..." David said nothing but smashed their lips together, his hands tightening in Eien's hair. He pulled away and pressed Eien’s head against his chest. "...It's okay..." Eien whispered again, not sure if he was reassuring David or himself.

C O R R U P T E D . . . . . . .





Page 83

....i ate...someone....



                                        ...they stare...



what have i become



maybe....maybe Vicktor is right?





Day IX

You should listen to this while you read: https://youtu.be/US4GxxxF5qE

It'd been a rough few days for the group. Even with the locks for the doors open, they could not get out. The docking sector was on its own power grid. A grid they couldn’t find powered everything that ran through and in the sector. The idea the architect had thought was a good safety plan ended up being what put them in even more danger. The console for the grid was on the fourth platform outside. The only way to get outside was to go outside, something impossible without walking around the entire base to get to the front door.

Eien, to everyone's concern, had grown more listless and distant as the days dragged on. He would stare at the locked gate for hours, not blinking nor giving any indication that he was even breathing. 

Vicktor was concerned that he'd already turned, having learned that he was bitten when David and Eien had returned. Mariella refused to go near him. Sera would attempt to get Eien to talk to her all day while keeping Vicktor away, as the man had said on various occasions that they should just kill him before he turned and killed them all. David had decided he would go to the grid and open the gate. It was on the third day of waiting for him that Eien had made any semblance of movement, and it wasn't anything anyone but Vicktor had expected.

Whywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhywhodidthiswhywasitheonewhereistheclosenowiwishicouldwhyisthishappeningtoclosenowishwhenididwherewhyhowcanidie

The whispering grew louder and louder, becoming more and more intelligible as the days dragged on. They were out there. They were all out there. The reason the halls were empty, the reason they hadn't run into walkers, the reason why everyone disappeared -- they were all outside behind the gate.

He could hear them...their whispering-- their suffering, moaning, crying...their hunger. It only grew worse and darker as their words began to take form and have some semblance of meaning. The complete meaning was lost to Eien, however, as the words mingled and meshed together into a deafening roaring one could only compare to standing under a waterfall.

Why can I understand them?  He'd been pondering that for days now. Was it because he was bitten? If my blood carries the cure-- 

"--Eien."

Eien snapped into focus. His gaze slowly trailed up from brown booted feet to settle on Sera’s frowning face. His eyes narrowed. She was standing in front of him calling his name. She kneeled down and placed a hand on his shoulder. He felt a sudden surge of irritation flood through him that quickly turned to alarm then settled down into anger. Why is she calling me? Why didn’t I notice her in front of me? Why is she touching me? He pushed her away and stood, towering over her still crouched form. She stood up and took a step back whilst Vicktor took a step forward.

"Eien?" Sera asked.

"Leave me alone," Eien growled, taking a step toward her.

"Sera," Vicktor said. "Just let me--"

"No!" Sera cried. "I'm not losing him.” Her voice cracked as tears gathered at the corners of her eyes. “H-He's not a lost cause! He's still talking, right? He’s still my brother…"

"But Carl got bit four days before he went berserk!" Mariella yelled from her spot on top of the tank.

"It has been four days!" Sera shouted back. Tears were steadily streaming down her face. "H-He's still my-my brother--"

"Today is the fourth day," Vicktor said, narrowing his eyes. Eien turned away and headed for the door to the hall. 

"E-Eien, where are you going?" Sera asked, her voice cracking even more. “P-Please Eien…we-we have to wait for David and th-then we’re gonna leave this place an-and we’re going to be okay. We’re going to be okay bec-cause you’re…s-still…” she began to sob, “you’re still m-my brother!”

Eien didn't respond as he slipped out of the door.

...

..

.

Eien stumbled, barely catching himself on the wall. He'd been wandering the halls for a good part of an hour. He'd been attempting to return to the lab but had made a wrong turn somewhere down the line and ended up in the cafeteria. He pushed on the closed double doors of the eatery and sighed. He turned around and slid down the door. It was barricaded from the other side. Eien pulled his legs up to his chest and buried his face in his knees.

ssss...mama....mama...mama...where...you...sss

Eien looked up. He looked down the hall to his right and saw a child-sized figure slowly walking from around the corner. It stopped at the end of the hall for a brief moment before continuing at a faster pace. The child was missing its jaw, blackened blood steadily falling in a slow sludge down to its feet. It was wearing a tattered pink dress with a plastic card tagged to it. A dirty pink bow adorned her stained brown hair. Her gait slowed down as she approached Eien. Eien stared into her glazed, amber eyes. He glanced down at the plastic card. Isabella, it read.

She hissed at him and Eien frowned. A child walker? She looks no older than 8…did they really… He had thought there was no one younger than Mariella in the base. The child walker sat next to Eien, silently staring up at him.

...tired...

She laid her head against Eien, letting out silent hisses periodically. Eien closed his eyes and turned away from her. What is happening?

...tired....mama...

Eien looked up at the ceiling, reaching down to his side.

...i want to sleep...

Without taking his eyes off the ceiling, Eien grabbed his gun, aimed, and fired. The child walker slumped to the floor on her side. He brought his gaze down and glanced at his side. Because of their close proximity, the shot blasted the entire side of her face away. Blood painted the wall behind them, the floor underneath them, and Eien's whole right side. He stared at his smoking gun, catching sight of his slightly elongated nails.

sksksksksksksk

Eien brought the gun to his temple, clenching his eyes shut. His eyes snapped open and he let loose a startled gasp as the gun was wrenched from his grip.

not here, not now...

Eien looked up into the eyes of the creature. The gun was being held by one of its limbs. The creature squeezed it in its clutches until it snapped in half, falling uselessly to the ground in pieces.

not you too...

Eien realized, with a start, that he could understand the whispering completely. The creature was...speaking to him. He looked down when his COM pinged. File download complete.

The files on the two escaped experiments were completed. Eien glanced at the creature briefly before opening the first few reports. He let out a shuddering breath. The picture...the picture of EG7D5GH was of the creature.

Subject EG7D5GH was able to retain sentience. Subject shows extreme intelligence, however, we are unable to figure out how to transform it back from its feral form. Splicing has been done between EG7D5GH and D39N53, however, this only seems to make D39N53 more hostile--

EG7D5GH is able to keep D39N53 calm during the experiments. D39N53 has been able to keep S09SDAX5 calm while in the same room. S09SDAX5 was able to keep a more humanoid form. We are unable to tell how and why the infection has managed to transform EG7D5GH and not S09SDAX5 and D39N53--

D39N53 is more unstable than S09SDAX5. Dr. Larvis has been lost to D39N53. Larvis was to administer another dose of the serum but was found decapitated and gutted.

Subject S09SDAX5, David Ledbetta--

"David...is Hulk?" Eien whispered shakily.

Subject D39N53, Eien Greenbrier--

"I-I'm...I'm..." Eien's eyes burned.

Subject EG7D5GH, Elizabeth Greenbrier--

Eien's eyes grew impossibly wide. He looked up, tears steadily trailing down his face. He stared at the creature-- at Elizabeth. "M-Mom...?" he breathed. The creature's eye flashed green briefly before returning to its red glare.

...Not here, not now...leave...

Eien stood up and reached a hand up. He shakily placed it on Elizabeth's face. She hissed low. Eien closed his eyes as her limbs slithered across his body. She pulled him into her and he buried his face into her chest.

"Mother..." His chest felt as if thousands of twine rope were tied around him. This explains mother’s disappearance…but how did she end up in this testing facility? His head, a bolder, and mouth, cottony. Justine was the only one that knew of her condition…did she…did…His consciousness slowly slipped away.

Eien...no...don't...

And then there was nothing but darkness.

C O R R U P T E D . . . . . . .



Page 102

...I'm sorry father...



          ...I regret my last words to you...



not that i said them...



but it was the last thing you heard from me...





Day X

You should listen to this while you read: https://youtu.be/1ClRUgPtUJQ

"Dr. Tan, there is someone wishing to speak with you."

Dr. Tan looked up from the papers on her desk to regard the platinum blonde woman standing in the doorway. "Ah, Dr. Kulvosk. Who is it?" The way Dr. Kulvosk was looking at her, it couldn't be anyone she wanted to speak with. "Dr. Kulvosk? S-"

"It's me." A man stepped behind Dr. Kulvosk. He looked somewhat similar to Dr. Kulvosk -- a taller, more masculine version of her. Dr. Tan perked up immediately.

"Edsel. Anything new with-!"

"I extracted all I could," Edsel said, walking into the office. "Close the door, Sera. I need to speak with Dr. Tan alone."

"Yes, sir," Sera said, closing the door. As soon as the door closed, Edsel dropped a tattered, brown leather journal on the table.

"Reading and rewriting that journal into the console...I could only get bits and pieces of things from his memory to display on the Dream Weaver. Subject EG7D5GH's status is unknown. We only know for sure that she is possibly still within the old facility."

"You referred to it as she instead of it," Dr. Tan said. There was a twinkle in her eye. Edsel's light green eyes darkened.

"Just because you wish to treat them as mere things, does not mean I will. She is still my wife." Edsel closed his eyes and breathed slowly. "The only way we can find out more is to wait until he wakes up."

"If he wakes up," Dr. Tan mumbled under her breath. “Turn up the settings on the Weaver and see if you can dig deeper.” Dr. Tan picked up the tattered journal and held it out to Edsel. “You might want to keep that safe...think of it as a memento.”

"This is on your head." Edsel snatched the journal up, turned around, and walked towards the door. "If you hadn't tried to terminate S90-- David, Eien wouldn't have done what he did. All those people's deaths-- they're on your head for your careless actions."

Dr. Tan leaned back in her chair smiled at Edsel's back. "And who is it that administered the test subjects with the infection in the first place? Those people would have died either way. This only sped up the process." Edsel tensed. Dr. Tan frowned. “And wasted precious time. Researchers are replaceable, test subjects are not…This DNA is not that easy to replicate, even with our technology. The biological makeup of the infection and the serum to combat the infection are unstable.”

Edsel said nothing as he opened the door.

"You're as much to blame as I am, Edsel,” Dr. Tan continued, “As is Justine. Please inform Dr. Kulvosk and Dr. Ledbetta of what you've told me. I'm sure the neuroscientists will figure some way to wake him from the coma."

“And if he doesn’t wake up?” Edsel asked, looking over his shoulder at Dr. Tan.

“There are ways to get things from the body when it has expired.”

Edsel narrowed his eyes. “You’d have me kill my own-”

Dr. Tan chuckled. “That’s quite enough babble about family. Where were these thoughts when you held that first syringe? When you placed your wife in a cage? When you did the same to your son?” Dr. Tan laughed again. She gave him a closed eye grin and waved her fingers. "You are dismissed. Good day, Dr. Greenbrier."

Edsel left the room without another word.



E N D T R A N S M I S S I O N . . . . . .



###



Translations

Beruhig dich = Calm yourself (German) Return

Scheisse = Shit/Fuck // exclamation of surprise (German) Return

Alles Klar = Are you okay? (German) Return

Mir wurst = I don't care (German) Return

Tío, mira = Uncle, look (Spanish) Return

Dios mio = My god (Spanish) Return

Zvyozdochka = little star (Russian) Return

Du bist frech = you're cheeky (German) Return

Depp = idiot (German) Return

Quatsch = bullshit (German) Return

Mein Gott = my god (German) Return

Sei ruhig = be quiet (German) Return



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