Date: November 25, 3008
Location: Somewhere on the Ocean of Ossyria
The rain pounded down monotonously on the landing pad. Behind them, the engines of the Silver Talon grinded to a halt, giving way to the thunder above. As another bolt of electricity streaked through the air, Michael staggered onto the rain-soaked landing pad. There were no lights coming from the ancient facility.
Maldran came up and lifted Michael up with his arms. Putting one of his arms around Maldran’s neck, Michael staggered up, checking the actions in his rifle. This place did not seem hostile, but it made him feel better to go into an abandoned old facility with a weapon than without.
“Let’s move out,” Mikhail grunted as he headed the team towards the hexagonal steel double doors that led into the interior of the structure. Tilting his head to the side, Michael felt a fresh blast of cold air hit his face as another flash of lightning seared across the low, grey clouds. Naz and Lily both knelt down at the control panel to the door. After almost a millennium, it was impossible for the metal doors to still be in working order.
Suddenly, with a tear of steel, the two slabs were blown in with such a force that they stuck into the opposite wall. The insides of the door were charred and dented. Every single head turned towards Nova, who stood directly in front of the threshold, her eyes fixated dead ahead. Silently, she proceeded into the darkness, leaving the others staring at her in amazement.
“Well so much for sneak attack,” Mikhail whispered to himself as he followed Nova. The hallway stretched infinitely down to the left and to the right. There was a curious smear of blood left decaying on the cold floor. Michael’s head flew with dizziness, and the next thing he knew, they were advancing down some unknown passage. He still felt Maldran’s neck as he held him to support himself, but Michael suddenly felt an urge to eat.
Ignoring his rumbling stomach, Michael persisted, trying to block the pain from his headache. What he would not give for a few aspirins right now…
“Ok so,” Mikhail reflected as they halted at a four way intersection, “What now, Nova?”
Michael looked on with a dazed expression as Nova closed her eyes. She seemed to be concentrating very hard. Michael thought she looked extremely funny…
“This way,” Nova’s green eyes suddenly snapped forward as she turned right. Maldran dragged Michael along at the rear of the group. Michael played the light of his flashlight on the dark walls of the corridor, making little figure-8s and circles. For some reason, it seemed to amuse him, distracting him from the jackhammer in his brain.
All of a sudden, Michael thrust a hand into the air, signaling a halt. His ears pricked up, trying to detect something in the musty aura. “What is that?”
“Zombies,” Michael chuckled wryly as he rolled his head around dreamily. “Only zombies…”
Felix’s piercing eyes turned back to him in concern, “You alright, Mike?”
“Never better,” Michael replied in a defiant tone. He seemed to be losing feeling in his left arm, the one that was wrapped around Maldran’s neck.
“Wait,” Naz, whispered. Everything became still again. He closed his eyes and also looked quite amusing to Michael. But then again, even his own hand seemed amusing. That urge to eat came up again as Michael’s stomach gave another disgruntled growl.
“Michael may be right,” Naz finished as he opened his eyes. The two Shadow Templars unsheathed their katanas simultaneously and whipped around to face the end of the infinitely expansive hallway.
Then, Michael heard the voices. To his relief, however, they were human.
Haha, how’s this… hehehe that’s funny, Imppala… Look at this Gemina… Heh, what is wrong… You’re a funny kid, Fey…
“What the hell is that?” Felix asked, bringing the voices inside of Michael’s head down a notch.
“What do you mean?” Michael slurred, “They’re just being funny… Jokes I guess…”
“No,” Felix whispered as he whipped out a pistol, “I think that’s… moaning!”
“He was right,” Maldran’s voice floated into Michael’s ears, but Michael did not care. He wanted something to drink. A tall glass of iced tea maybe, or maybe even some tomato juice. Hell, even cranberry juice would suffice.
And then the voices came back, stronger than ever before. They whispered, laughed, joked, snickered: calamities in the air. It reminded Michael of the old times back in the Perion High School when all they would do was joke around. He had a fleeting image of familiar faces, but that was soon drown out by someone yelling.
Then, he found himself being dragged off by Maldran’s strong arms. All the while, Maldran panted out loud, “Come on Mike, be strong!”
The company barged into a spacious room at the end of the hallway. It had several doors leading to various other unknown rooms. Michael slid to the flood, his back being propped up against a cold steel wall. The group’s flashlights were reflecting off of the lustrous metallic surfaces of the room, making images play around in Michael’s mind.
“Hey!” Lily shouted as she kicked a door down. Felix followed Lily in to investigate. Michael tilted his head to get a better view. Out of the little portion of the room he could see, there were countless numbers of test tubes lining the walls and counters. The flashlights revealed them all to be a deep shade of red. For some reason, Michael wanted to drink it…
“This must be a research facility,” Naz’s voice echoed from the other side of the room. Shifting his eyes to the left, Michael saw another room full of scientific machines as well as tubes of red liquid. The place reminded Michael of a buffet bar.
“Shh, hear that?” Mikhail piped up, again, making the company quiet down, “I think I hear someone’s voice.” As the silence settled in once more, Michael heard an eerie moan perpetrate the air. His eyes dilated in horror as his heart raced in fear.
“They’re here! They’re here! We must get out! We must get out now!” Michael panicked and tried to get up, but his muscles would no obey him. Instead, he found himself wielding his G-35 Ghoul, pointing it lazily into the room right at his friends. But why would he point his gun at his friends…
“Your eyes are bloodshot,” Maldran’s voice banged into Michael’s disillusioned mind. He saw a bright light shine down into his pupils, but he did not, could not blink. Instead, Michael just sat their smiling peacefully, his rifle waving dangerously in the air in front of him. “Put that down will ya?” Maldran jerked the rifle still.
A surge of anger and hatred roared into Michael’s heart, urging him to lash out. Somehow, by Maldran doing that, it seemed as if he had committed the most horrible sin. But that feeling subsided at once, replaced by the normal disoriented feeling that reigned supreme. Michael started to mumble something, but he did not know what.
“We need to find a cure,” Maldran straightened himself up, whipping the light away, “Now.”
Suddenly, a loud, surprised roar reverberated off of the spacious walls. At the back end of the room, Mikhail had kicked down a door, revealing someone sitting in a chair, tied up and gagged. Immediately, as the metal door clanged to the floor, Nova gasped in shock, for right before their eyes, sat a squirming Damiver Lazin.
Reunited at last. Michael smiled to himself as Nova slashed off the ropes with a combat knife and the two of them embraced each other. They kissed and Michael felt a pang of hunger once more. He wanted some meat.
But then, Damiver’s voice quivered, “Nova, we have to get out of here now!”
“It’s ok, Damiver. You’re safe now,” Nova absentmindedly replied as she helped him out of the room.
“No, you don’t understand,” Damiver’s eyes were fixated in horror as they stared into Nova’s, “It was a trap all along, and I was the bait!”
And then, Michael realized his thirst could not be satisfied by water. His appetite hungered for meat, for flesh and blood. Slowly, he got up, leaving his assault rifle on the ground, for it did not matter anymore. He needed to feed.
“Whoa, easy pal,” Maldran gasped as Michael fell into his arms. Michael grinned wickedly as his meal was so close. He only had to reach out, to tear, to rip, to eat and devour.
“Son of a…” Maldran yelped aloud, and Michael felt himself falling to the floor again. Yet, the impact did not hurt. He meagerly staggered up again, and found Maldran backing away with a horrified look upon his face, “Michael!”
Someone cursed behind him, but Michael did not care. He lunged forwards, aiming for Maldran’s neck. The smell of his flesh was so enticing, Michael felt as if he had found the meaning of life. It was all he could think about. He needed to feed.
But he didn’t want to. He only needed to stretch out his tongue, to lick Maldran’s delicious skin.
Suddenly, something hit him in the back, and Michael felt himself stumble away from Maldran’s shaking body. His eyes found the blurry image of someone in all white that he could not recognize anymore. The figure was aiming a black thing at him. Furious at it for delaying his meal, Michael lunged forwards.
A shot rang out and a single bullet imbedded itself directly between his eyes.
Michael’s world faded from existence, and he felt himself rising out of the ashes of the physical realm. His appetite for flesh and blood died down to nothingness. As he lied there with a hole in his head, Michael’s ears pricked up, registering one last shatter of glass as a terrified Felix dropped an antidote bottle, sloshing a burst of green onto the ground, never to be used.