Chapter 4

After the explosion everything seemed to go in slow motion. Pieces of wood and glass flying towards Ryan and Emily like shrapnel from a fragmentation grenade. Ryan instinctively moved in front of Emily and put his arms around her to make sure she was protected as much as possible. Strangely there was no heat, or force of explosion. It was as if a cannonball just crashed through the door. Once the shrapnel stopped flying, Ryan slowly turned to see just what the hell made the door spontaneously destroy itself. What he saw was a man standing there holding a fire axe, completely unscathed, standing in the newly "refurbished" doorway. It was impossible to see the man's face, as it was covered in an unnatural smoke-like substance. He appeared to be literally radiating the black substance, and several pools of its liquid form lay at his feet. Ryan had always been a quick one, and immediately recognized who this strange man was.

It was Dr. Emil Hartman.

"Time for…your…MEDICINE!" Hartman screamed with varying tones and pitches, as if he was one of his own patients. Quicker than anyone should be able to move, he brought out a syringe and threw it end over end at the young couple.

Ryan cried out in pain as the needle planted itself in his right shoulder, flying backwards for several feet from the unnatural force of the throw, before skidding to a stop. He pulled out the syringe and tossed it aside, the pain in his chest flaring to a point where it started to blur his vision. He looked up in time to see a blur sweep across Emily's figure, making her disappear from sight. Ryan reached out a hand to the spot where Emily had stood and, in an attempt to stand, fall forward onto his stomach, consciousness fleeing him.

The last thing the inventor remembered of that moment, was what felt like two large clothespins grabbing onto the back of his shirt, and lifting him up.