I snickered at the dumbfounded expression upon Mercer's face. He turned towards me with raised brow and his arms crossed, clearly unamused at my amusement. Simultaneously, I realized I had nothing but this hospital gown on while Mercer had his iconic outfit. Come on! I want my own iconic outfit!

"Something funny?" He intoned, not looking pleased at all. Mercer leaned against the doorframe and gestured towards the door in question, telling me to give it a go.

"Damn skippy. The face you made when breaking that door-handle was a work of art, old man." I snarked back, walking and closing the distance between myself and the door. I made to grab the remains of the handle left upon the door and attempted to oh-so gingerly turn it to pry it apart. Instead of simply opening it, I ended up tearing the whole damn door off its hinges.

I blinked owlishly, dropping the door as my mouth perfectly replicated a gasping fish. I may have underestimated Blacklight's initial, un-evolved, strength in P1. Then again, Mercer easily tore the AC units and generators off of rooftops to chuck at choppers, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Mercer had also become surprised. Clearing his throat, my fellow Blacklight wielder came off the bit of doorframe he had leaned against.

"What the hell? What is this? A poorly written comic?" Mercer whispered to himself before taking the lead to leave the morgue of the Gentek building.

I shrugged my shoulders, having somewhat expected this, though no less surprised than the edgy man himself. There wasn't any point in remaining, pretty soon Blackwatch would be here with the bad touch, bringing helicopters and weapons that the current un-evolved me would still take damage from.

"Before we get outta dodge, what's your name, old man?" I casually threw the question, halting Mercer as if there wasn't a black operations hit squad about to enter the compound to 'cleanse' the building.

Mercer grimaced as if he'd been given his most disliked flavor ice cream.

"I'm not an old man, kid," Mercer protested with an even tone, walking through the open doorway, "I'm not even thirty. Who cares anyhow? Those scientists ran like the Devil was on their heels, I suggest we do the same."

I blinked and followed suit, nothing here except for us chickens. Bonus points if you understand that reference, System.

[I do and I wish I didn't.]

Poor system. Oh well! I kept pace with Mercer, both of us moving in a somewhat sluggish run, almost as if Blacklight hadn't yet fully settled within either of us. That was a pain in the ass, perhaps I could—

[Don't try using the book now, you'll end up fumbling and dropping it with those Blackwatch goons trying to kill you soon. That's without mentioning the shaking of your hands. Wait until you're steady.]

Party pooper. Wait. What? I looked down at my arms and hands. They indeed were shaking and now that I realize it, my legs feel like wet paper, too.

Hey, System?


What are my stats at?

[Your stats are as follows; also, for reference, a peak human's base stats are around the thirty to forty range.]

[Physical Fortitude: 200]

[Mental Fortitude: 300]

[Spiritual Fortitude: 15]

Why is my spiritual so low?

[You lived a relatively easy life beforehand. You had no hardship or teachings to bolster your spiritual growth.]

Makes sense.

"Sooo, I don't think I got your name. I gave you mine unintentionally. Therefore you should gimme yours. So gimme, gimme." I prodded at Mercer's shoulder at the final two words, my finger unabashedly invading his space.

The original prototype made sounds of annoyance the further I poked at his arm, then sharply turned his head to glare at me. I immediately stopped, an innocent look upon my face. We had stopped just at the corner where I was sure the scientists-pathologists-doctors had gone around due to the surgical mask and cap on the floor.

That was when I heard it: two resounding gunshots sounded off, each denoting the potential death of a person.

"What?" Was the quiet and confused word out of my mouth. I know that the scientists are killed to keep secrets and the virus from potentially getting out, but Blackwatch only just arrived after they got outside. Those shots sounded like they were indoors.

Mercer turned towards the source, leaning against the wall and just peering past the corner and into the following corridor. He pressed his arm against my chest and unintentionally slammed me against the cold wall behind myself. Damn Blacklight strength. I'm also hating on this hospital gown already, my butt-cheeks are feeling breezy. I really need to absorb some people with clothes—or just the clothes, I don't really want the extra memories if I can avoid them. I can also just absorb more infected down the line for more power and evolution.

"Shit." I hear Alex curse beneath his breath, then grabbed my wrist and started hauling ass in the opposite direction of the connected corridor where the scientists had just been killed. I took the hint and snatched my hand away from Mercer's and began to haul my ass just as hard as the adult at my side hauled his.

Considering that I only ever experienced the happenings of the game as an outside viewer that enjoyed the mindless carnage, I never once stopped and thought what it'd be like to experience the horrors of actually being within the Prototype franchise. Two people had actually died and I have no idea what to think about it as I'm running for my virus-powered life.

Alex and I met a set of double doors not long after, somehow not seen by the members of the Blackwatch kill team as we shoved the doors open. Despite my body being made entirely of a deadly virus, the lungs I inhaled with felt pretty real. It was only after I exited the building with Mercer that I truly realized the kill team arrived much earlier than in the game—could it be that having a potential second patient zero for Blacklight caused that? I mean, the scientists didn't even make it outside to the compound! They died in the building!

The sight just outside the doors made my blood—if there even was any after getting Blacklight—ran cold.

I rasped my knuckled against my forehead, attempting to ponder the strong sense of foreboding that things might be more intense than the game. I fucking hope not. That'd be nightmares times ten! Jesus—there were three helicopters parked in the courtyard with a fourth patrolling the area. In the game there was only one squad dispatched to handle Alex, now with me here, they sent fucking four?!

Mercer paced and turned, looking for a place to hide while I was practically losing my shit, trying to wrap my head around the potential changes to the canon that I knew. A small change, yes, but if this change occurred, what else could have changed?! Alex decidedly grabbed onto my shoulder and had to somewhat wrestle me into hiding behind the dumpster around the building. How we got that far without being seen while I acted like a child, I have no idea.

Mercer shunted me against the wall.

"The fuck, kid! What were you thinking?!" Alex gave me shove, and pointed his left index at my chest as his harsh voice chastised me at the levels of a rough whisper.

"We could have been caught, killed! And you insisted on tweaking out right when those choppers were dropping off their crews!" Mercer gave me another quick shove. While the dickhead did put some sense into me, I didn't appreciate being shoved and talked down to.

"I know I'm a fucking kid! I'm thirteen, you dickweed," I retort just as harshly, though with me being barely into puberty it's not as impactful, I think, "that entails everything that fucking comes with it! Like a lack of fucking coping with all the shit we've just experienced! I woke up in a morgue! A morgue! Without my memories, without family, friends, anything! Then we suddenly have fucking super strength and who knows what else! Not to mention the bangs I heard and the thuds that followed! Two people just died practically next to us and I have no idea how to fucking cope with any of this!" I shove Mercer just as hard as he did me, though because there wasn't anything behind him, Mercer simply stumbled.

Alex looked like he wanted to remark, to bite back at my words before he grunted and relented. The bastard knew I was right, difference between us is that I actually recall my family from before I was reincarnated.

Mercer shook his head and nodded towards the dumpster and wall nearby.

"The fence right above that dumpster. We can climb our way out of he—" Mercer would have finished his sentence if not for our luck finally running out.

"I found them! Targets spotted!" Some no-name Blackwatch soldier called out, having rounded the corner during the spat Mercer and I had.

"Shit! Run, kid!" Mercer grabbed me by the shoulder and shoved me forwards in front of himself, giving me the head start towards the dumpster and fence. I remembered this scene very specifically and vividly now. If it happened in the game, then it's going to happen now. Only, Alex Mercer threw himself onto me and covered me with his own body when it happened. I couldn't speak at all, I barely ever dealt with firearms in my past life, only ever practicing in a range with my actual dad, I've never seen or heard the deaths of anyone, I've never dealt with being shot at. I'm terrified, OP virus powers or not.

The deed and the cacophony of rapid and in-tandem gunfire led to Mercer taking a majority of the bullets—though a select few seemed to be specialized AP rounds or FMJ, for I myself felt my body torn through despite Alex protecting me. That's without mentioning the flanking Blackwatch soldiers shooting into my sides.

That's went everything went dark.

Next chapter is when all the action starts. Helicopters, tanks, and meeting Alex's sister.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Review! Tell me what's what so I know how to improve!