It was mid summer of 2001 when I was first contacted. These people knew of my connection to the Los Illuminados, or at least my family's. Apparently, the Los Illuminados had something these newcomers wanted, and they were willing to go to any means necessary to attain it. I didn't agree at first, they wanted to use me to get close to the cult and their leader; Osman Saddler. But I did eventually agree, it gave me a perfect oportunity to exact my revenge on that long banished cult for what they did to my family.
It was spring of 2002 when I was finally accepted by the cult. It was a day that everything went to hell.
I steered the car up a small hill, coming to a road block . A heavily armed man stepped out of a booth and walked to my window, which he motioned for me to roll down. I complied, and he leaned down to see into my face. " Who are you and what is your business here?" he grumbled.
" I am Luis Sera," I said, " Your master has accepted me to lead his research team." I handed him some documents proving what I had said.
" Hmmmm... alright, move along." He stepped away from my car and returned to his booth. After he opened the way, I continued along the path.
I eventually came to a ferry, there was no access to their island headquarters by land. I drove onto the main deck and stepped out of the car. An extremely fat man started up the engine and the ferry moved through the water. He walked towards me. "You must be that new science guy. The one Lord Saddler hs been talking about." he said.
" Yes, I'm here to further develop our knowledge on"
"Yeah, yeah, that's nice." the man fumbled with something in his pockets." Here," he handed me a laminated pass." That's your ID. If you want to get anywhere on the Island, you'll need that"
I turned around and walked to the ship's railing. Leaning over the side, I inhaled the sweet sea air. I could see, about thirty miles west, the Salazar palace, where history was bound to repeat itself. It had been so long since that place was active, it should have stayed that way. No man should have to bear witness to the horrors that dwell within that horrible place. And to think, before , the Salazar family had been noble and proud. They would never have helped in such a terrible cause.
Leaving my thinking behind, I turned back around, we were coming to the docks of the island...
The ferry came to a stop inside a large cave which opened on an upwards angle to the rest of the island. After thanking the captain for the ride, I stepped into my car and drove up through the mouth of the cave.
I was directed by two men with crossbows into a parking lot. After bringing my car to a stop, I was escorted by a two other men. They brought me to a large door. "Through there, Lord Saddler will be waiting for you." one of them said.
I pushed open the door and stepped into a large, open room. Guards lined the walls. At the end of the room there was a man in a hooded robe. From his throne, he spoke to me " Ahh, Luis. I'm so glad you have decided to join us. With your help, we shall be able to further our control over Las Plagas." He motioned for a soldier to come to him. He made a gesture with his hand and the man made a small twitchy movement. Other than that, nothing happened.
" As you can see, other than strengthening the stamina and strength of their hosts, Las Plagas has lost its effects. We were hoping that with your aid we could bring back the astounding power that it once held..."
" I'll do what I can Osman, I am only a simple researcher." I said to him.
" Yes, but your family has a long history with Las Plagas. I'm sure you are the most qualified to help us"
He whispered something into the ear of the soldier. Then he called out to me," This man will take you to the main lab where you shall find all the equipment you will need. I have also gathered a team of other researchers for you to work with. Now go, we should not waste any time."
The soldier motioned for the door as he walked towards me. We exited the throne room and made our way towards the labs...
We went through a set of double doors and came to a hallway. I made a move to keep going but the guard stopped me. " Hold on." he went over to a panel on the right and inserted a pass key. " If you ever want to get through here, use your ID card, it'll turn off the lasers"
" I'll keep that in mind." I said.
After bidding the guard farewell, I went through the hall. I stepped through anther set of doors to find myself in the labs. Saddler had payed good money to get the finest equipment possible, everything I needed was there. I was quickly greeted by a small man. " Ahhh, Dr. Sera, welcome to the I. R. F. I'm Dr. Pugsly, but you can call me Ray." he made a motion to shake my hand. "Pleasure to meet you." I replied as I grasped his hand." What does I. R. F. stand for"
" Illuminados Research Facility. Ok, over here we have the..." and he went off into great long speeches about the different equipment we'd be using, the different testing rooms, subject holds, and "the sample".
After the grand tour, Ray introduced me to the other members of the team: Jane Laurence, Steven Gerard, and Trevor Dellmere. They had their various fields of expertise, which I didn't pay much attention to. I wouldn't be working much with these people. I was simply there to do the research and they were there to test my theories.
Ray showed me to my quarters, it was a small, cramped room with a toilet, bed, and sink. He left me for the night and a flopped onto the bed. I started to think to myself, " What have I gotten myself into?". I unpacked and was about to retire for the night when something started beeping. I shuffled through my bags until I came across the device that was mailed to me by "them". I flipped it open and a woman's face appeared on the screen.
" Luis, you were supposed to contact us two hours ago. What happened"
" I got held up, everything's alright, they don't suspect a thing." I replied.
"Good, we need you to get as much information on Las Plagas as you can. We also require a sample of the parasite"
" Of course, as long as you hold up your end of the deal. When Los Illuminados is no more, you will have your precious results. I'll contact you in two months"
I then closed the device and shoved it into my bag.
I needed to rest. All my strength would be required for me to play the role of the double agent. I closed my eyes and drifted into sleep.
Over the next two months, our team at I.R.F. came across astounding results. We discovered that Las Plagas was sensitive to light, could be altered to take on different forms, and even be slightly modified to yield different effects. Our first hybrid creature developed from Las Plagas was the Novistador, an insect like creature that was produced from a mixture of cricket and Plaga cells. It had the ability to fly and could spray an acid mucus which was quite deadly. I experienced that first hand.
About a week into the research, we had made our first Novistador. We still hadn't discovered a proper method of controlling them so it had to be detained. I was working late in the lab one night when I noticed something dripping in the corner. I went closer to investigate when suddenly I was picked up and tossed across the room. I looked up to see the Novistador, which had melted a whole in the ceiling and cell doors. As it moved, it became visible, it had establish a form of camouflage, it could blend in with almost anything.
By then we knew about light's effects on the creatures so we had to destroy that first success, it was too dangerous to keep around. We knew that we would need to discover a method of controlling them before progressing in making new life forms.
About a month into research, we discovered that Las Plagas reacted to sound. If we used our instruments to produce certain sound waves, we were able to manipulate the actions of the parasite. Every Plaga contains a small organ that is designed to translate this sound, it was that finding that lead us to believe that the parasite was evolving. In the past, the parasite was controlled with simple thoughts of the host containing the mother parasite.
We presented our findings to Saddler and he demanded a portable method of producing the sound. We manufactured a staff containing mechanic and organic parts for him to use. After he gained dominance over the parasite, his armies started to grow quickly. Men would join even if it was against their will.
In the next month, our team at I.R.F. made more Novistadors and we looked into other forms of mutation. We managed to accelerate the growth of the parasite within a human host. It would cause the host to grow to immense size and strength but would render them insane, unable to be controlled easily. Saddler demanded them to be mass produced as well, although, we only made about five or six.
At the end of the first two months, I contacted "them".
" What have you discovered thus far?" said the woman's voice.
" We have developed methods of controlling the parasite, and we have made a few... abominations in the process."
" Good, I'll be coming to see you in six months, make sure you are ready by then."
" But of course, anything for a nice lady." she disconnected from the conversation.
" Another six months, aye aye aye, this is insane." I thought to myself. " This is not helping to hinder the cult's growth, my research is only making them stronger..."
I awoke to the sound of alarms. I could here shouting, gunfire, and explosions off in the distance. I left my quarters and made my way outside. Something big was happening, I knew it.
When I finally made it outside, I saw what the problem was. Novistadors were flying here and there, picking up soldiers and ripping their bodies in two. One of the Gigantes had even gotten loose and was rampaging across the complex, destroying hordes of soldiers as it made its way across the island.
As much as I enjoyed seeing Saddler's base falling into ruin, I still feared for my life. These creatures were dangerous, especially if they got loose or if they fell into the wrong hands. Of course, they were already in the wrong hands, but Saddler was much more subtle with his methods of expansion.
I grabbed a few light grenades from the labs, along with my pistol, and moved out to see what the source of the problem was. I was blocked by three soldiers on my way to the main complex. "Let me through." I said." I am one of the researchers. I can stop this!" The men didn't say anything.
Suddenly, one of them pulled out a tazer rod and signalled for the others to do the same. They began to step closer to me, grinning and laughing. I shot the closest one in the chest, he staggered back but seemed unharmed. I shot him again, this time in the face. Still, he didn't fall. I took a few steps back just to bump into more men. They grabbed me and held me still while the ones with weapons got ever closer. I struggled to get free but to no avail, these men were stronger than normal humans.
The tazer was almost to my face when the let me go. They stopped moving for a second and then just walked away. When they were finally out of sight, a man stepped out on to the bridge connecting building A with building B. He held the staff we had manufactured for Saddler. He had long black hair, loose fitting jeans, a black shirt, and gold-rimmed sun glasses.
He looked down upon me and gave a smirk. " It's good to see you," he lowered his glasses,"brother"
He jumped down from the bridge, landing directly in front of me. " What are you doing here?" he asked me. " You went missing months ago, I thought you were dead..." He turned his head to look around, taking in the explosions and screams. " I've finally done it, Luis. I've finally brought vengeance upon those responsible for our parents' deaths!"
I looked away, I was too shocked to come up with any excuses. He asked me again " Why are you here, Luis?" he looked at me with questioning eyes. His gaze shifted to the I.D card pinned to my chest. " Ha, what's this?" he grabbed the base of the laminated card and took a closer look." What! Is this some kind of joke? Luis, what is the meaning of this? Youre working for them!". He turned around and ran away from me.
I started to follow " Jerome, wait! I can explain.". He didn't listen, he kept running. He rounded a corner and I lost sight of him. I eventually came around the same corner and saw Jerome surrounded by men. He made motions with the staff but they would not obey.
" Filthy intruder! We are Saddler's most loyal subjects! We obey him ful heartedly, without the binding power of Las Plagas." they brandished their weapons and started to move closer to him.
I shot the closest one to myself in the back of the knee. He fell to his knees and turned his head to see where the shot had come from. By the time he saw me, I was already shoving a knife into his eye. He fell onto his back, blood spraying the ground. The others turned to see me, but I was already working against them. I grabbed the hilt of one of the men's scythes and twisted, causing it to cut through three of the soldiers. The other three men aimed their crossbows at me.
They were about to shoot when suddenly the wall burst open. A massive, hulking figure stepped out into the fray. My brother guided the Gigante with the staff and directed it to destroy the men. It crushed them with little effort.
I fell to the floor, exhausted, I had exerted myself way too far. Hordes of men then came in from all sides. They beat down my brother and took the staff from him. I started fighting back, shooting them with my handgun, but they subdued me as well.
I was beat over the head with the but end of a crossbow, and everything went dark...
I was suddenly jolted awake. I was being dragged by the arms to an unknown destination. I looked over and saw more men dragging my brother as well. My head hurt, it kept throbbing. I kept wondering what kind of excuse I'd give to Saddler. Not only did I want to clear my name of any doubt, but I needed to get my brother out of it as well.
We were pulled through some doors which lead into Saddler's throne room. We were pulled right up to the steps of his chair and dropped. My brother awoke as he hit the ground. Saddler cut the silence " WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS! Luis, are you affiliated with this man!"
" My lord... " I needed time to think" I- was only trying to catch the intruder. My brother looked at me in disbelief. " I found him carrying your staff, I stopped him." My brother gave me a look that shouted "traitor" and it was true. I had sold out my brother.
"But what about the fact that you were caught killing my men!" Saddler yelled.
" My lord, I thought-I knew you wanted the intruder alive, so that you could question him. Your men would only have killed him." I waited to see his response.
"Hmmm, I suppose you are right... GUARDS. Take this man to the holding cells." My brother almost spoke out but seemed to decide against it, for which I was grateful.
Two guards stepped forth and carried my brother away, I did nothing to stop them. I knew that it was wrong to let him be taken, but my mission, it couldn't be compromised. "But he's your brother!" I thought to myself.
Saddler gave me my leave and I returned to the labs. I was worn out. I collapsed on the bed and thought to myself "These next six months are going to be harder than I expected..."
The next day when I awoke, I did not head to the labs as usual, but to the holding cells. I was there while they questioned my brother, I was there while they tortured him, and I was there while, even though I had betrayed him, did not say a word about my affiliation with him.
They would ask him questions like " Why have you come! How did you get here! Who sent you..." and he would only respond with little shrugs followed by a swift beating to the skull. After hours of this treatment, he was thrown into his cell again with the promise that it would continue tomorrow.
I returned to the labs, crushed by what I had seen. Despite the fact he hadn't told them about me, I felt that much more guilty. He had spared me his fate yet I couldn't do anything to help him.
The next month was not good.
The I.R.F. team had become suspicious of me and was doing experiments behind my back, and without my permission. On their own, they had made two new creatures, the Garador and the Regenerator. Both of these abominations were dangerous, to enemies of Los Illuminados, and it's own members.
The Garador, blind to all things, was quite deadly. It had stamina like no other and could survive countless blows to the body. This monster could, however, be quickly dispatched because of a small parasite growing out of it's back. The parasite is week to impact and can easily be destroyed, this severs the Garradors spinal cord, causing death. The Garrodor, being blind, has to work with sound, which it's very good at. It can detect the faintest movements and when it does, it strikes with massive claws that extend from its forearms.
The Regenerator, is a marvel of modern science. The researchers sole my research data on the healing properties of Las Plagas these horrible, yet stunningly perfect creatures. Hosting multiple, mutated plaga, Regenerators have astounding capacities to regrow lost limbs and heal wounds. They also have the ability to extend their arms and/or legs because of a lack of bone growth. This lack of bone is replaced with rigid tentacles by the plaga, which allow regeneration.
Both of these finds were sparked by my research, they were designs conjured up for "them", not the Illuminados. I was growing worried that after my time here was over, Los Illuminados would become far more untouchable...
I awoke to the sound of shouts. I leaped out of my bed. Still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I moved towards the door. I listened for a few minutes and heard nothing, and decided that it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I turned around to go back to bed when I heard it again, louder this time.
I grabbed the door handle and turned, locked. Somebody obviously didn't want me getting out of my room, which was why I had to find a way outside. I looked around, there was a small vent in the upper right-hand corner of the room. I stood up on top of my bed to get closer, the screws holding the grate in place were stripped.
I returned to the floor, checking for anything I might have missed. On a small makeshift desk I had made, I had left some supplies. I had been working late with the effects of acid on the parasite.
I grabbed the most potent one I could find among the jars and returned to the vent. I applied thin layers of the acid to the screws, and stepped back. The acid ate through the screws with ease, even burning holes in the grate itself.
After I removed the grate, I climbed into the vent. Crawling on my belly, I made my way through the vents. I could now hear voices, it sounded like Ray, Trevor, and Jane were all in the labs, obviously doing something I wasn't supposed to know about. I crawled until I found myself directly above the operating room, which was there the activity was.
I looked down through a grate into the O.R, Trevor was tightening the straps holding their male subject down. He had a bag over his face so I couldn't decipher who it was. Ray came into view holding a tape recorder. He switched it on and began to speak.
" Beginning project Vertigo. August 9th, 2002. Subject, male, unknown." he then removed the mask from the man's face. It was Jerome. " Based on Dr. Sera's findings, we are going to proceed with an advanced mutation test. According to Sera's research, the novistador plaga is sensitive to cold and hot energy. When bombarded with one, then the other immediately, a young, unhatched plaga will grow rapidly, also becoming rigid. We are going to test this method on unknown male, let us begin."
LUIS. ch. 10
They started the operation. All of the people in the operating room put on their masks, making them completely un-recognisable. One of the assistants brought over a large syringe while another wheeled over a cart carrying a bulky machine.
" This needs to be perfect." one of the doctors said." If we make one wrong move, the mutation could occur in an unpredictable fashion that would compromise our safety."
The doctor with the syringe injected my brother in the side of his neck. He did not take notice to the injection because he was unconscious. " Pass me the scanner." the doctor said.
Another assistant brought him a flat screen x-ray scanner, which he placed over top of my Jerome's chest. Through the scanner, everybody could see the Novistador Plaga egg float down his bloodstream and towards his spinal cord.
" Bring me the scalpel, liquid nitrogen, and U.V charger." These words were met with hasty action. Through my hiding place in the ceiling, I saw the assistants scramble about, fetching the materials. As one of the assistants passed by with the scalpel, he tripped on an I.V. "Careful!" one of the doctors yelled." If we disconnect the flow of the drug, he'll wake up, and we'll be unable to operate."
After the doctor had his supplies, he flipped Jerome onto his stomach and made a small incision near his spine. He cleared away some of the blood and located the egg. Placing the liquid nitrogen close by, he steadied the U.V charger. He turned it on and let the heat envelope the parasite egg and the area around it. Quickly after turning off the light, he poured the liquid nitrogen into the opening.
Then they waited. The dry ice swirled along Jerome's back and onto the floor, the fog rolling across the tiles. Suddenly, Jerome twitched. The fog moved and we could all see the parasite hatching. It branched out quickly, embedding itself into his spine. It became rigid, many spikes began to protrude from the tentacles. The mutation spread, Jerome's skin become dark and began to grow hard.
Jerome's body writhed on the operating table, his body changing rapidly. His face imploded upon itself, and he grew insect-like pincers for a mouth. His fingers attached themselves and became claws, and his spinal cord extended beyond the reach of his lower back, making the form of a tail.
One of the assistants jumped back after what used to be my brother made another twitch. He knocked over the I.V feed and tumbled to the ground. It didn't take long for the drug's effects to wear off. Jerome broke his restraints with ease, his new found abilities aided him in his escape. He leaped off of the table, and struck the lead doctor in the face with his claw. Blood spurted down his front, dripping along his torso. Jerome tossed his body aside and swung his tail around the room with wicked speed, killing two of the assistants who remained standing. Jerome, turned around and ripped the legs off of a doctor that was trying to crawl to the exit.
After killing all the scientists, my brother ripped open the door and dashed out into the hallway. Alarms chimed, alerting Saddler's men to the escape.
LUIS. ch. 11
I kicked open the grate and jumped down into the massacred operating room. The bodies of the scientists littered the walls, blood smeared across their cold faces. The sight made me think to myself " Why didn't they include me? I could have averted this. Why would they have locked me in my room?". It puzzled me, the fact that they tried to keep me away. If they knew about what I was doing, they would have killed me sooner so that's not the reason...
I paced around the room, looking for clues. In the corner was a desk, or what was left of a desk. It had been smashed by the body of a flying lab assistant. On the floor around the broken desk, there were official documents dating back to before my arrival. One of them was marked "August 9th, 2002". I picked it up and read the order for today:
ORDER # 21875
YOU ARE CHARGED WITH THE EXPERIMENTATION OF THE CAPTURED ASSASSIN. I GIVE YOU AUTHORITY TO PERFORM ANY EXPIRIMENT NECESSARY TO CONVERT HIM. THEN, REPEAT YOUR PROCESS ON DOCTOR SERA, I DO NOT TRUST HIM. HE WAS HELPING THE ASSASSIN ESCAPE.
under the order of
It appeared I had been found out, that my game was up. But maybe Saddler still hadn't seen through my guise, maybe I still had to to gain more favour, so that he could protect me.
I left the operating room and walked out into a flury of chaotic madness. Soldiers were running around applying bandages to wounded comrades and puting out fires. I could hear explosions from the lower sections of the lab complex, where we kept our many creations. Apparently, my brother had worked his way down to the holding cells.
I ran to the elevator, stepped in, pushed the button indicating I wanted to reach the lower floors, and descended into the bowels of the labs...
LUIS. ch. 12
The elevator continued to descend into the deepest reaches of the island. I had never been down to the prison complex and holding cells, that area was restricted. Only the guards working down there and other elite members of the Los Illuminados were allowed access. Now, however, the cards had changed, and I was the only one capable of stopping Jerome because it was my research that sparked his mutation. As the elevator travelled further and further down, steam would burst from little valves and as the temperature became higher and the pressure built up. The oxygen was different down there so the elevator needed to de-pressurize.
After almost fifteen whole minutes of dissension, the elevator came to a stop. The doors slid open and I stepped out. It was dark, the only patches of light radiating off of the orange emergency lights. Apparently the lower levels were functioning off of their backup generator.
I took a look around, taking in the sights of the prison. The floors were grated steel, like that of a catwalk, and the walls were concrete. The ceiling remained open with many beams, pipes , and exhaust vents protruding from above. The room I was in was quite large and open. To my left, there was a door that was labelled " INFIRMARY". To my right, there was a door labelled " ARMORY". And in front of me, there were two doors. One of them was marked " WINGS A-M", and the other "N-Z".
I could hear screams, growls, scratches, moans, and all those fun sounds. It sounded like the holding cells had been opened, and that the hundreds of monsters and abominations we had created were loose. These creatures were not going to be controlled like their relatives on the upper levels, they underwent such drastic mutations that Las Plagas itself had changed within their bodies, rendering all mind controlling attributes useless.
I knew the fight that was lying before me, I knew that there was going to be a lot of blood. I turned right and headed for the armory.
The door to the armory slid open before me. It was bigger than I thought, taking up space over two separate floors. I stepped in and gave a quick glance around. After a lot of thought I decided to take four flash grenades, a red9 pistol, a compact machine gun also known as the T.M.P (tactical machine pistol), a combat knife, and a Kevlar vest. I strapped on the vest and holstered all of my equipment, then turned around and left the armory.
I came to the two doors leading to separate wing sectors. I knew I'd eventually have to clear out all of them, so I figured I'd start alphabetically. I open the door labelled " A-M".
As soon as I stepped across the threshold, I could hear the many sounds of agony and violence even louder. I looked around. The "A" sector was one big hallway, the only way out was a door at the other end. I continued along the dark hallway, lights flickered as I stepped slowly passed the prison cells lining the walls.
About three quarters through the hall, I encountered my first enemy. It was humanoid, but its face was horribly disfigured, especially around the jaw area, which was stretched grotesquely wide open. Its left hand was also of massive size, it dragged it across the floor, limping slowly in no general direction. It then saw me. The creature flipped backwards onto the wall, digging its claws into the concrete. It then began to scurry towards me, quickly in a twitchy manor. It leaped in the air and aimed for my body. I quickly rolled to the side and took out my pistol.
The creature landed in a heap in front of one of the cells. It writhed on the ground, trying to get back on its feet. I wasted no time, I shot several rounds into the creature's back, which seemed to have little effect. It merely turned to me and leaped onto my chest, bringing me to the ground. It began to extend its barbed tongue out towards my face. I grabbed its head and tried to hold it back, but it was stronger than me. Slowly, it was getting closer to reaching its goal.
I reached around with my hand in hopes of finding a weapon. I managed to grab the end of a broken cell bar. I took it and rammed it into the side of the creature's head.
The creature fell over on the ground bleeding. After a couple of seconds, it died. I removed the bar from its head, picked up my handgun, and headed toward the door marked "This way to wing B".
LUIS. ch. 14
I opened the door to wing B. On the other side was a staircase, leading down to the next floor. "Just how far does this thing go?" I thought to myself. I slowly made my way down the steps, trying not to make much noise so I could hear anything that made a sound. The stairs led me to the B door, on the other side I could hear gunshots being fired.
I opened the door and stepped into wing B. Before me were two men in haz-mat suits holding the area with machine guns. Seemingly endless streams of creatures were trying to get passed the block they had made. A constant flow of bullets was there to meet them, hindering their progress. I pulled the pin on a flash grenade and tossed it into the fray.
Every single one of the creatures instantly either disintegrated or fled from the light. The soldiers stopped shooting and turned to face me. " Who are you?" the one to the left of me.
" I am Luis Sera, I work in the labs. I followed a loose subject down here. What's going on?" I said.
" It's good to see you Dr.Sera, we need some help here. That subject that came down here tore the place up pretty bad. It's unlike anything we've ever seen. It managed to shut down the main power, releasing all the specimens. The backup one is running now but we still have a problem with the "inmates"." said the one to the right.
The man on the left stepped foreword," I am Anthony," he then pointed to the other one," that's Edwardo."
" Pleased to meet you," I looked at them carefully,"why are you wearing haz-mat suits?"
Anthony pointed towards the door at the other end of the wing," In the lower floors, the ventilation system has been busted up. The air is filled with all sorts of toxic stuff radiating off of the monsters. You might want to put one on too seeing as we're going to try and push them back to the lowest floor."
He handed me a case labelled with a bio-hazardous symbol. I opened it up and removed the haz-mat suit from the case. After I finished putting it on, my new buddies signalled for me to follow, and we made our way towards the C wing.
Anthony led the way to the door leading downstairs. Edwardo, who was behind me, covered the rear. " So they are vulnerable to bright light?" Anthony called back.
" Yes," I explained," the parasite they are infected with cannot survive in bright light."
" Hmmm, there's another armory in wing E, if we can get there we'll be able to stack up on as many flash grenades as we want..." said Edwardo from behind.
We opened the C wing door and headed down the stairs. When we reached the bottom, Anthony stood to the left of the door. He instructed me to go to the right side and Edwardo to get ready to take aim. Anthony them reached out and opened the door. Edwardo rushed in, followed by Anthony. I was the last one in.
The room was completely empty of life. Instead of being a straight hallway like the last two floors, wing C was a circular shape. In the center of the room was an enormous test tube-like holding chamber. Liquid was pouring from a large hole in the side onto the floor.
" Sonnuva , it's loose." Anthony yelled." How the hell did it get out! When we passed by here before it was still out cold..." He ran up to the container and touched some of the liquid. " The break is fresh, he escaped not too long ago..."
I walked closer to the tank to try and read the label. I had to clear away some of the fluid to see. When I finished reading the label, I was as unsettled as Anthony that it was loose. On the plaque, it read:
SUBJECT ID- U3, CLASS 8 THREAT, KEEP IN STASIS.
It was "U3", the lab's first survivor of a series of horrible experiments. I hadn't overseen the procedure, but something had been done that horribly mutated the third subject assigned for "Project Ultima". The other two attempts were complete failures seeing as both hosts died almost instantly. "U3" was the first one to survive, but was highly aggressive and couldn't be controlled by Saddler. The next two attempts "U4" and "U5" were seen as failures as well. Both were also uncontrollable and even more powerful than "U3". The project was abandoned, and the subjects were condemned to be kept in the hellish underground of the labs.
" What will we do," Edwardo exclaimed," how are we going to contain that monstrosity? I don't th-" He was cut off in the middle of his sentence as a thick tentacle whipped down and wrapped around his head. He was dragged towards the ceiling, his screams muffled by the tentacle covering his face. There was a twitch and a crack. Edwardo's body fell to the floor, his neck was broken.
Then, from above, something jumped down from the rafters. It's thick, slug-like body hit the ground with a loud crunching sound, cracking the floor. It extended its many insect-like legs and pushed itself off of the ground. One of its arms was a tentacle, pulsing and twitching. "U3" opened it's pincered mouth, revealing a massive tongue, and let out an ear-piercing scream.
I rolled to the side as an enormous tentacle came down upon the spot I once stood. I stood up but "U3" whipped his tentacle along the floor and tripped me. I hit the ground and was winded. I saw another strike on its way to me, but before it was completed, Anthony shot the beast and pulled me away. I finally got back on to my feet and looked around the room, "U3" seemed to have disappeared.
We headed for the elevator at the other end of the room. Anthony pushed the call button and we waited for the elevator to arrive. The row of circular lights at the top of the elevator began to light up as the elevator got closer.
Before the lights were evn half lit up, we heard a noise come from the back of the room. We turned around, waiting for U3 to show himself again. Suddenly, another tentacle shot out from nowhere and wrapped itself around Anthony's waist. It began to pull on him but he took out his knife and cut himself free.
U3 leaped towards the ceiling again, out of our sight. We could hear clicking noises as it worked its way through the rafters. One of the lights at the end of the room then went out, followed by another, then another. The lights continued to go out in a zig zag pattern across the room, slowly making its way over to us.
When the last orb of light remained around myself and Anthony, all went quiet. I could hear my heart beating in my chest I was so scared. Then, breathing could be heard coming from right above us. The elevator gave a ring and the doors opened. We ran inside just as U3 jumped down from right above where we had just stood. He extended a tentacle into the elevator, but the doors closed, cutting off circulation to his arm. He pulled the tentacle back as the elevator began to descend.
The lift slowly made its way down the shaft, bringing us further down into the depths of the prison. Anthony and I were still breathing heavily, trying to catch our breaths from the encounter with U3. "We should put all of our efforts into getting to the armory." I said.
Anthony remained silent. "What's wrong?" I asked him.
"Ed-Edwardo...he's-he died. We made a promise to make it out alive...together...I-I failed him..." He looked down toward the ground.
I grabbed him by the shoulders, "There's no point in moping. Edwardo is gone, we can't bring him back. If we get out of this alive, you'll at least have kept half of your promise."
" I suppose your right...we are in quite the mess. One thing I don't understand is why you came down here, I mean, it's safer on the surface."
I quickly replied," I told you, I came down here chasing a loose subject."
Anthony rolled his eyes behind his helmet," But what makes this one special enough for you to chase it into the middle of a battleground? I just don't get it..."
"The subject...he's, he's my-" The lift suddenly came to an abrupt stop.
"What th- we're not even there yet!" Anthony pointed towards the level indicators above the door.
Something slammed on top of the elevator, making a large dent in the metal ceiling. We both jumped away from the middle of the lift, pressing ourselves to the walls. Anthony drew his weapon and aimed towards the roof, I did the same. There was a loud smash and a tentacle punched through the ceiling. It swung around attempting to hit us. I ducked down and avoided the tentacle, which swung towards Anthony and swept him off his feet.
U3 poked its head into the elevator. The lights, which were flickering, danced along his face, causing ripples of shadow the reflect across the walls. I aimed my handgun and pulled the trigger, catching him in the face. U3 retracted his head and tentacle, leaving behind a trail of slime.
All was quiet for a few minutes. Anthony stood up and turned on the light at the end of his gun. He aimed it towards the hole in the ceiling. Through the hole we could see it, writhing and slithering. As soon as the light passed over him, U3 gave an ear splitting scream in our direction and used his clawed hand to rip the cables of the lift.
The elevator fell into the darkness, picking up speed and bringing us closer to the lowest floor, and our deaths...
My mind was running laps, I couldn't understand what was happening. Lights were flashing, metal was screeching, and the elevator was falling ever faster to the ground. The last thing I saw was Anthony's face contort in horrible pain as the lift turned sideways, and a long steel pipe burst through his chest. The elevator hit the ground with a deafening noise, and all went black.
I awoke to the sound of screaming. I opened my eyes slowly, taking care not to exert my body. Although I didn't feel any immediate pain, I had a sense of paranoia that I might move in a way that would induce a surge of pain from an undetected injury. My eyelids shifted and I could see movement, but couldn't make out what it was because my vision was blurry.
I opened my eyes all the way, and inwardly gasped at the amount of trouble I had gotten myself into. Around me were dozens of dead bodies, piled on top of me and each other. In the middle of the room, there was a large furnace, emitting a reddish light that cast itself along the slimy walls in circular intervals. Small pipes along the ceiling snaked around eachother in a tangle of iron, spewing small puffs of steam every so often. Although these small details certainly made for an intimidating atmosphere, it was what occupied the room that made em fear that my life had become a precarious issue.
Moving about the room were several hunchbacked creatures. Sporting long claws of bone which extended from their elbows, they clumsily limped from body to body, devouring their innards. I recognised the creatures almost immediately, they were the failed attempts at the garrador project.
I shifted to the left a little. Detecting no pain, I moved a little more. Somehow I had managed to escape the crash without major injury, only a few scratches here and there. I managed to push the body of a dead guard off of my chest. He crashed to the floor, causing the creatures to look up from their meals.
I stood perfectly still as the rejected garradors made their way closer to me...
The closest blind creature continued limping towards me, it's breathing raggedly pulsing and giving off a vile stench of dead bodies and mold. I remained perfectly still, not daring to breath. Despite my lack of movement, the creature still wondered towards my position. The other creatures had abandoned the search and went back to feeding, but still, one of them was nearly in arms reach.
The creature came up to me and bent down, its face directly in front of mine. It began to inhale deeply, trying to catch the scent of living flesh. I could smell its breath that much more intensely now. It was such a deathly scent that I began to cough.
Immediately, the creature reared back and gave a grunt. It pointed its claws and charged toward me, clipping my shoulder as I tried to roll away. I hit the ground, clutching my bleeding shoulder, as the creature caught his claws in the wall, spraying the ground with dust and rubble.
The other rejected garradors turned towards the noise. Extending their claws as well, they charged. I stood up and ran full tilt toward the closest one. Ducking down, I caught the creature in the stomach, flipping him over my injured shoulder. He hit the ground and squealed as the parasite on his back was crushed beneath his body. I stumbled over to another pile of dead bodies, as the rejects swung their claws blindly around the room.
My hands grasped the dead bodies as I tried to pull myself to the back of the pile without making any noise. I felt something hard through my gloves. Wiping away the fog from my visor, I looked down. Looking back at me in an endless stare was Anthony. My hand was wrapped around the steel pipe that had been his demise.
I felt the greatest sense of failure. I had let Anthony down. I promised him that he wouldn't share the same fate as Edwardo, but there he lay before me, dead. I didn't have a hope in hell of getting out of the prison. I thought to myself " It was foolish of me to come here, I can't save Jerome, it's too late. Now, I can't even save myself...". A single tear rolled down my cheek, it was fueled by the loss of everything I had cherished. Everything I had ever loved was taken away either directly by the Los Illuminados, or by something connected to it. I sighed.
The creatures heard me , and began to charge toward the pile of bodies I was hiding in. I pulled the steel pipe out of Anthony's chest and leaped from the pile as the creatures clawed away at the dead bodies. I stuck the pipe into the back of one rejected garrador, and rolled away. The creature swung around violently and struck two of the others in the backs.
I looked up to see all of the creatures fall to the ground. I stood up, wincing at the surge of pain in my shoulder, and searched the room for my gun. After locating my trusty red9, I headed towards a door on the far end of the room.
LUIS. ch. 20
A long hallway stretched onwards n front of me. There wer two stable lights at the end of the hall, but along the ceiling of the rest of the passage the lights were broken and flickering. I cautiously stepped foreword, looking down the sights of my handgun. To my relief, I reached the door at the end of the hall without encountering any dangers.
Through the door, I found myself on a balcony overlooking a large room filled with tables. It seemed as if I'd made it to the guard's mess hall. I peered over the edge and spotted two creatures with twisted, broken looking things coming out of their backs that looked as if they were supposed to be wings. Their eyes were wide and large, shaded bright green, and their mouths were lined with multiple rows of tiny jagged teeth.
They were feeding on the flesh of a dead guard, sloshing his blood along the floor. The angle at which I was watching them made me think of the Verdugo experiment, how I had watched from above. My thoughts drifted to my brother, and how he had been completely transformed and ripped of his humanity. I still had no idea where he was and knew it was going to take a lot to either put him out of his misery or subdue him once I finally caught up with him.
I saw, out of the corner of my eye, an emergency axe behind a glass case attached to the wall. I walked over, smashed the glass with my elbow, grabbed the axe, and began to descend the stairs leading down to the floor.
When I reached the bottom, the creatures were already staring at me because of the noise I had made. They faked a lunge, almost as if to try and intimidate me. I did not flinch. I began to move closer to the insect-like creatures, slowly tightening my grip on the axe.
The creatures stepped back, looking towards the weapon in my hands. They continued to back away as I moved closer, that was until they bumped into a wall. Looking around frantically, the creature on the left tried to run to the side when I was about two feet away, which was a bad idea.
A painful squeal erupted from the mouth of the cowardly creature as my axe landed in its back. The other one tried to run too, but I ripped the axe out of the back of my first victim and caught the second creature in the back of the knee. I then planted the axe in his shoulder. Bowing before me, the creature looked up at me as I circled around to his front. I tore the axe from his shoulder and crushed his skull with the point on the back of the blade.
I spotted the other creature, which had apparently survived, trying to run to the door. I swung my arm and the axe swirl through the air and dug into the back of his head.
Covered in blood, I pulled the axe out of the creature, and proceeded to the door marked " This way to E wing".
Opening the door to the E wing, I tightened my grip on the axe in my hand. I stepped through into an even larger room than the one that preceded it. Before me was a service counter, the bodies of the operatives lay behind the desk, bloodied and torn. The wounds on their bodies seemed old and scabbed, so I didn't pay much attention to the mess.
To my left was a wall that connected itself to the service counter. I turned right and made my way down a few steps which lead down into a depression in the floor. In the depression there were three red sofas and a coffee table, all surrounded by four stone columns. From there I could see a glow from behind one of the pillars.
I carefully made my way towards the light. As I rounded the column, I gazed upon the bodies of at least thirty different monsters and abominations, which all appeared to have suffered from bullet wounds. I returned my gaze to the light, and found myself looking at the armory door.
The door was made of solid steel, sporting a caution symbol in the center of two slides that would open for officials with proper identification. Above the door was a security camera, allowing occupants of the vaulted armory to keep watch without exposing themselves. I moved to the door and looked over to a small keypad on the right-hand side.
My fingers were about to touch the surface of the keys, but there was a loud click, as if something electronic has bean turned on. Above me, from a worn looking intercom, came the voice of a man. " Who goes there, and what do you want!"
I took a few steps back and looked towards the camera. "I am Luis Sera," I said, " a researcher from the topside of the complex, and I wish to enter to seek shelter and ammunition."
The voice grumbled " A survivor eh? Hmmmm... through your helmet, I cannot see your face, so there is no way for me to tell that you are sincere. If you wish to gain access, you must prove yourself smart enough to answer this riddle, and gain the password needed to enter."
The man cleared his throat, and then I heard some shuffling on his end, as if he couldn't remember what it was he was about to say. " Where the f- oh yes, here it is. Pay close attention to this riddle."
" I am more powerful than a God,
And more terrifying than the Devil.
The poor have me,
And the rich don't want me.
Also, if you should consume me,
You will surely perish."
I considered the man's words for a few seconds. " More powerful than a God..." I thought to myself. There was nothing I could think of. I decided to move on to the next part, about the devil, but once again I could not think of anything to suit the verse. " The poor don't have very much... maybe disease... some form of infection?" . My disease theory also worked for the verse about the rich, but wouldn't coincide with the first two. " But then there's the last line... there are so many poisonous foods that could cause death...but how many of those could overcome a God?". I continued to think about the riddle, focusing on the last verse and what it meant for the rest of the riddle. I couldn't think of anything that could fit the label, but that's when I realized what the answer was.
I faced the keypad and typed in the seven letter code; N-O-T-H-I-N-G. The panel beeped and there was a click as the door unlocked. " Ahaha, good show," the man exclaimed," enter please."
The door opened to the armory.
LUIS. ch. 22
A very pudgy looking man stood before me. Judging by the wrinkles in his face, he was at least in his late forties. Towing a shotgun in hand, he sported a short black coat and a medium length beard. Resting on the bridge of his nose was a pair of thick rimmed glasses, magnifying his eyes to make them appear to be of insect proportion.
" Good show amigo." the man spoke." You have gained my trust. Nobody as dull minded as one of those creatures could possibly have the capacity to figure that one out. Hehe- my name is Armando, it appears we shall be roommates for awhile."
"Not to seem ungrateful for you letting me in, but how could one of those monsters possibly punch in the password, let alone have the mental ability to guess at what the code is?"
" Hmmm..you might have a point," Armando mumbled," but nevertheless, you are worthy of my company, please come in."
I entered the armory and the door shut itself behind me. The walls were lined with shotguns, assault rifles, SMG's, handguns, and flash grenades. Armando began coughing behind me as I inspected the other aspects of the shelter. There was a toilet room in the back, and a few crates of food rations in a corner opposite to it.
" My friend, do these facilities please you?" Armando asked through another fit of coughing. " I know it isn't much, but it has served me well during this time of struggle."
" Yes, this place is well stocked, I think we'll be able to mount a resistance from here. There are plenty of flash grenades, those will come in handy." I replied.
" Good, but my friend, why do you wear a suit like that? Are you planning to travel into space or something?"
It took me a moment to realize that something was horribly wrong with this man. His hands were covered in blood, presumably from his fits of coughing, which is a strong sign of Plagas infection. " I should be asking you why you AREN'T wearing a suit."
" What reason would I have to?" Armando questioned with a ring of concern in his voice.
" Some of these creatures produce parasitic eggs on their skin. As they move, or if there is a breeze around them, the eggs will detach themselves and float through the air. If inhaled, the egg will eventually hatch and take a hold of your nerve system. Seeing as these creatures have some abnormalities, there's no telling what will happen to you. That blood you've been coughing up is a sign that the egg has hatched, you don't have very long until the mutations occur."
Armando looked back at me in horror. " I-" He couldn't seem to conjure up the words for a reply.
" I was working in the labs topside, and designed a device for removing the parasite. I know one of the prototypes was sent down here to prevent this from happening, so that they could cure infected guards." I looked the man in the eyes." Do you have any idea where it is?"
Armando stumbled with his words, apparently still in shock. " Y-yes, it's in the Infirmary on the first floor of the prison..."
" One thing still troubles me though, were not injected with the parasite already as-per Lord Saddler's orders?"
" Of course not! He only gives the parasite to those he does not trust. I'm surprised you don't have it inside you as well seeing as he apparently had the whole science team infected." he replied.
I was about to question this further but there was a loud thud on the door. I looked over to the camera viewing screen but it had gone all fuzzy. There was another thud, louder this time, making a dent in the door.
Armando tossed me his shotgun and reached for another. " We must save this conversation for later, "he said, " for now, it's time to welcome our guests."
A bead of sweat rolled down my forehead as Armando reached for the release switch for the door. I had my newly acquired shotgun aimed towards the crack between the sliding components of the door, my axe resting against the wall beside me. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. It seemed as if an hour had passed before Armando's hand had reached the panel.
There was a beeping noise as the tips of Armando's fingers slipped across the surface of the button marked "release". The door slid open a crack, but then suddenly shut with a grinding grunt, as if it was pulled closed against its will. There was then a terrible sound of bending metal as the door began to wrench itself outward. The grinding stopped and there was silence.
I stepped closer to the door, trying to hear what was happening on the other side. I almost had my ear to the metal when Armando grabbed my arm and shook his head at me, signalling for me to back away. It was a good call, seeing as right after I moved away, the door was ripped away with such force that it tore chunks in the surrounding walls.
On the other side of the door, there were multiple figures, all standing at about nine feet tall. Their muscular bodies tensed with energy. Veins coiled along their skin and pulsed through their necks. Their heads were small in proportion to their bodies, with drooped jaws and stubby noses.
Like pretty much everything else in the prison, I recognised these creatures quickly. They were the first attempts at the Gigante project, failed of course because we underestimated the growth hormone and it's adverse effects on the frequency receptors of the plaga. The newest versions were far from controllable, just slightly more manageable.
The closest beast thrust his hand into the armory and attempted to garb Armando, but a quick blast from the end of my shotgun made him retract. "Run for it!" Armando yelled.
We charged out into the middle of the creatures, firing our shotguns and ducking under the fists of angry, nine foot tall beasts. The bullets from one of my shots found their way into the face of one of the monsters. He swung around and knocked over one of the others.
Armando continued to fight off three of them behind me and managed to bring down one of them by crawling up its arm and placing the barrel of his gun in its mouth before pulling the trigger. I focused my attention on the one closest to me.
I stopped to reload my gun, trying to do it as fast as possible. The window in my shooting gave the failed gigante a chance to strike bck. His fist came down upon me.
I found myself looking into the fist of my attacker, frozen like a deer caught in the headlights. Just like in the armory, things seemed to be happening slower than usual, making every little detail stand out. Beyond the fist. which was tensed so tightly that it was white around the knuckles, I could see the bloodies face of the semi-gigante. A steady flow of blood splashed down his face and onto his chest. I could see every speck of blood shatter along the surface of his skin.
I could hear words behind me. I wasn't quite sure what the words were or who was saying them. It didn't matter, my mind was focused on the flexing brute before me, his fist crawling slowly towards me. The words got louder, more recognisable, and I realized it was Armando. I still didn't know what he had said, but it pulled my attention away from the beast before me and to its fist.
It was then that my sense of panic kicked in. I tried to move as quickly as I could, but that broke my sense of seeing the world at a slow speed. From there it happened so fast. I had started to move, but I had delayed far too long to make it count. His fist collided with my shoulder, breaking every bone in the area and sending me hurtling across the room.
I struck the wall, my head smashing against the wall. I slid to the floor, my vision swirling. I saw figures dancing around before me in a ballet of blood and bullets. The smallest of the figures was trying to get closer to me, fighting through grey flesh and rigid muscle. Despite the blurr's efforts, the larger ones subdued it, pushing it back into the center of their circle.
Another blurr shot across my vision. This one being long black and travelling faster than the others. It leaped on top of one of the large figures and rapidly broke it in a shower of blood. I shifted my head to see, feeling the back of my head begin to warm up, presumably I was bleeding. The black figure finished with it's prey and flashed to the next grey smudge.
The last thing I saw was another spray of blood, and then all went totally dark. Behind my unconscious eyes, my mind was in fits. Trying to identify my body's wounds but failing miserably, my mind struggled to filter even the most simple of thoughts. I felt another presence, something talking to me, a voice. It was trying to sooth me, but also urging me to do something. I sifted through my memory, trying to identify the voice that was reaching out to me. I had trouble with that thought process. I opened my eyes.
My vision wasn't blurry anymore, but my head was drumming a beat of pain. Above me was Armando, trying to bring me to life. My focus was not on him though, but the figure far over his left shoulder. It stood in the rafters, hunched over, eyes glowing red. My gaze began to blurr again, but not before I saw my brother climb away into the rafters.