Shadows formed at the edges of the light, and my world began to take form.
I heard humming noises, like… machinery?
I lifted my head to look around. I was lying on a bed. The room had a very high ceiling with large windows along the top of one side. There was a pair of large doors at the far end of the room with red lights on either side. Below the windows was a roll away cart a television on it. There were other carts around the room holding various pieces of equipment.
A hospital maybe… no the room is too big and too clinical.
Then the world began to melt.
No, the air….
The air became fluid, like water, an area about 8 ft around began to shimmer and flow. It began to ripple, like a puddle of water. Then she appeared… She walked right out of the puddle!
A young girl of medium height with dark Auburn hair; she was dressed in some kind of dark grey military garb. There was a pistol holstered on her right hip and she had a huge knife. The knife was in a sheath mounted on her belt at her waist, it ran horizontally across her back. She ran over to the bed, looked down and grabbed me by the shoulders. Then she started shaking me, she's yelling; though I couldn't make out what she was saying.
She was yelling a name… my name?
Then I thought she said something about soldiers, and having to hurry?
She looked around furtively, like someone was chasing her, but no one was there. Then she backed away from the bed; the air began to ripple again, and she disappeared.
Something caught my eye to the left of the bed, I looked just as the air began to ripple again. She backed into the room, and looked around like she didn't trust her surroundings. She bent, as if to grab something on the floor. Then, she was knocked backward into a piece of the equipment along the wall and disappered again.
"Well you lost no time making a big mess."
"That machine you knocked over is worth 50 grand you know!" a voice exclaimed.
"Anyway, it's good to see you moving again. How do you feel?"
The voice was coming from above me. I followed the sound and realized it came from an intercom system in the walls. The voice belonged to a man in a white lab coat. He was standing behind the windows overlooking the room. He turned his head and called out to someone through a doorway to his left. "Yeah, he's awake, better tell the chief."
His manner seemed so normal, like he knew me, like I should have know him. But I couldn't remember. I tried to remember, but there was nothing, just a blank.
"Derrick, I know you are probably still a little groggy, but I'd like to get started with rehab, and get some baseline data on your physical capabilities while we're at it."
"I'll need the data for comparison tests later on."
"I'm going to open the door now."
There was a loud hum as the doors on the far side slid open. An LED on the left side of the doorframe lit up in green letters, it now read 'open'.
"The Rehab Room is in room 1."
"Sorry to push you so hard, but please work with us."
"I'll explain everything once we get started."
I went through the door and headed down the hallway. The unadorned dark gray walls and gray linoleum floor were typical of a high security facility. All the walls, floors, and doors looked the same, and probably did in each wing and on every level.There very few signs or nameplates to aid in direction. Chances are, if you didn't know the exact location of a room, you could spend hours or perhaps days looking and never locate it.
I moved through the twisting hallways, turning left and right several times before I saw some signs hanging from the ceiling. Each one was numbered and had an arrow pointing to the appropriate room. I entered room 1.
"All right, let's get to work." Once again the voice was coming from the intercom system and the attendant was looking down at me from a set of windows above. He then asked the million dollar question, "First one question. What's your name?" I gave him the answer, but I felt he probably already knew it," I… can't remember."
"You don't know… Well no surprises there." he answered.
"Looks like you have some sort of memory impairment."
"We'll need to run some detailed tests."
"First, let's test your eyesight. Stand in the middle of the red ring on the floor and look at the logo on the wall."
l walked to the circle. The logo read: Carter Research Center, there was a red light above it and a blue light below. As I centered my on each one the lights went out.
"Well, no problem here" he said; Time to move on to room 2."
"Ok, let's open the door."
There was a loud click and the LED on the doorframe charged from red to green. I headed towards the door. When I stepped on the mat in front of the doors they slid open with a loud hum.
The doors slid apart and I walked back into the hallway. l turned right and headed back to the intersection where the signs were. Room 2 was to the left; as I stepped in front of the doors, they slid apart and I stepped inside. On the left wall was a metal desk with a monitor and keyboard. The walls in front me and to the right consisted of glass panels which over-looked large rooms.
"Get the card key from the desk." I can still hear the voice from the intercom, but can no longer see where the attendant is stationed. "Use that to open the door." I picked up a cardkey from the desk, it has the number O on it. Then I turned around and walked to the far right glass wall. There was a pedestal there with a scanner built into it. I swiped the card over it. The top of the pedestal changed from yellow to green and I hear a click as a pair of the glass panels unlocked and slid apart to reveal a set of stairs. On the other side of the glass panels, was what looked to be an obstacle course. After I walked half-way down the stairs, the room began to shake. A board across a pit at the bottom fell in.
"That was a big one" he said.
"Nothing to worry about though, Japan is earthquake central."
"We get those all the time."
"Unfortunately, that board fell in the last earthquake."
"Sorry Derrick, but you'll have to jump across to the other aside."
He then ran me through the course. I crouched and crawled through some tight places, walked hand over hand along bars suspended over more pits, and climbed up and down a series of ladders. As I climbed the last obstacle, I realized I had gone in big circle. I pulled myself over the edge, walked through a set of glass doors and re-entered room 2.
There was a slight pop and then I heard the attendant over the intercom. "Well, your physical capabilities seem just fine."
"The next test is the last one."
"Let's get through this as quickly as we can and break for lunch."
"Go to room 3 please."
There was a click as the doors unlocked. The doors slid open for me as I headed into the hallway and back to the intersection. l followed the sign to room 3. The doors were already open, so l walked in.
The intercom crackled and l heard the attendant again, "Now, let's see how you shooting skills held up. Don't worry they're rubber bullets." Room 3 is set up with a metal bench to the left of the door. The bench had a small monitor screen built into it; there was a square panel on the desks surface, and a receptacle with the handgrip of a pistol sticking out of it. To the right, there is a 3 ft high barrier and then a large open space.
"Pick up the gun" I grabbed the handgrip of the standard issue 9mm Glock sticking out of the bench.
"Now grab a clip and load the gun." A loaded clip rises out of desk.
I shoved the clip into the bottom of the pistol grip, and pulled back the magazine to chamber a round. At the far side of the room, beyond the barrier, a white panel hanging from the ceiling slid in from the left, in it's center was the shape of a human form in red. I turned and shot. A hole appeared in the forehead of the human shape on the target. I hadn't thought about any of it. Not once since I had awakened had I thought to ask 'Why'. Sure I had questions, but when told to do something I just followed orders. I heard the voice over the intercom say, " Good… Next, I'll put 2 targets up. Shoot the one I tell you to shoot at. "The red target slid out again, this time a blue one followed it a few feet away. For the next few minutes I shot the targets as fast as he could say red or blue, never thinking, just reacting. Every one was a kill shot to the head or heart of the target. Who the hell am I and what is this place?
The targets slid out of the room and the wall that had absorbed the bullet impacts slid up into the ceiling. I can now see my reflection in the wall panels on the far side of the room. The voice on the intercom said, "Now let's try some hand to hand combat."
"l realize your still recovering, but I need your cooperation in these tests."
"But don't worry, we're almost done for the day."
"Derrick, I want you to try some basic fighting moves to test your muscle functions." For the next half hour he put me through the paces, starting out with a few jabs and punches. He then moved on to kicks and more complicated punches and combinations, including evasive rolls and back flips. It was like I waswatching someone else. When we finished I hadn't even worked up a sweat.
"Good job! That was the last test of the day."
" Your lunch is ready for you in your room. Take a break, you earned it."
"Put the gun back where your found it." as the gun slides back into the receptacle in the desk I hear the click as the door unlocks.
I jogged back to the room and took another look around as I entered. I now noticed a couple of room dividers standing around a toilet to the right. Built into the wall above the bed are a bunch of machines to monitor the patient. On the cabinet next to the bed was a Kevlar vest, a clipboard, and a tray with some food. Seeing the food, I realized how hungry I was. I hurried over to the tray of food. I grabbed the can of juice and chugged it. I was a couple bites into the hamburger when my vision began to blur. I couldn't catch my breath, my legs got weak and I fell to the bed. It's the attendant on the intercom again, "Don't worry; we gave you something to help you rest. We'll continue with your rehab after you wake up."
I heard a door open in the area where the attendant was. He asked someone, "Who are you?" Then came the familiar metallic click of the slide action of a gun, followed by a burst of gunfire and splatter of blood on the windows above. Then silence.
I tried to move my head, but was still incapable of moving or focusing my eyes. The hum of the doors opening broke the silence. I could barely make out 3 men in fatigues enter and take position at the foot of the bed. One of them stepped forward and lifted the back of my head. Another pulled something from his pocket, looked at it and then at me. He nodded his head to the one holding my head and said, "Kill him." My head flopped back onto the pillow as they all stepped back and leveled their guns at me.
Then I heard glass break and shards of the windows above rained down onto the soldiers. It was her... the girl from before. Like a spider on a web she dropped behind the soldier at the rear and slit his throat. The soldier with the photo turned and fired but she was already airborne. He went down as her right foot connected with his throat, his shots flying wildly off into the air.
The soldier that had just recently had my head in his hands, turned and fired a long burst as he followed her movement. Before the 2nd soldier hit the ground she was running back toward the wall. She planted her foot about 4ft up the wall, then turned and ran along it; at the corner she rebounded off, and kicked the last soldier just behind the ear. His head turned and there was a loud crack as he slumped to the ground.
She calmly put the knife back into the sheath across her back and walked over to the bedside. She looked down at me, raised her hands and shrugged her shoulders in disgust. "Wow, you're a mess!" Then bent down and waved her hands over my eyes to see if I was conscious. "But at least you're still breathing." She grabbed my am and put it over her shoulder to help me out of bed. Together, we stumbled over to the toilet. She kept talking to me, trying to keep me awake. "The research lab was full of soldiers." She removed my arm from her shoulder and I collapsed to my knees. Then she reached to put her fingers down my throat. "Ok, now it's time to lose your lunch." She went on talking while I heaved up the remnants of the drugged hamburger. "First thing we've got to do is get out of this building. And then meet up with Glenn."
When I finished, she helped me up and back to the bed. As my head cleared, I took a closer look at her to try and remember who she was. She was about medium height with dark hair cut short and simple, probably in her mid twenties. She was wearing absolutely no make up, but was still quite attractive. She had a curvaceous athletic build. Though it's obvious she knew who I was, I didn't have a clue. She looked down at me with her hands on her hips, "Anyway, it's good to see you again."
I just shook my head and asked her,"Who are you?" At first she appeared surprised, and then I saw recognition on her face.
"You really don't know, do you?"
"I'm Alex", she said. "I came to get you. Glenn Ogawa, the chief scientist of this research center, sent me."
Then there was an explosion somewhere in the building and alarms began to go off. With a sense of urgency she said, "We can't stay here. If we do, we're history."
"Derrick, you promised me you wouldn't let me die."
"Time to make good on that promise!"
She then put out her hand to help me out of bed and she exclaimed… "Move it, Soldier!"
That's the end of Chapter One and what used to be Chapter Two.
They belong together, so when editing some mistakes, I combined them.
The action is just getting started, and shouldn't be many lulls through the rest of the story.
Hope you liked it. Please Review!
Thanks to Silvermoonlight, my only reviewer at this early stage.