Episode-23: Mental Fluctuation
Date: November 25, 3008
Location: Navasota Island
With hands held high into a sky so blue, the ocean opens up to swallow you…
The Linkin Park lyrics rocked his head over and over again as he helplessly stood on the dock, watching Nova’s entire body rack with tears. Gritting his teeth in anger, he had half a heart that wanted to comfort her, but the other wanted nothing more than to shrivel up and die. A shrill scream pierced the air. Though muffled by the closed doors, Felix still could not stand Lily’s inhumane shrieks of agony.
It is at times like this when people pray, hoping to the heavens for all to turn out well, for everything to be alright. But that was all lies, an illusion. His loved ones were dead, and he was still alive. There were no happy endings.
He didn’t know how long they had her strapped to the table, but when Felix finally realized Lily had calmed down, he whipped around to face the door just as it slid open with a pneumonic hiss. A man stood in the doorway, silhouetted by the bright lights of the sickbay.
“Good news and bad news,” the stranger said, his face covered in shadows. Felix pondered at his words. Any news right now would be good news…
“Lily is going to make it, but she’s not going to be the same as before. There will be contamination, making her instincts heightened and more sensitive to blood. There might also be memory loss, but we’re not certain. Come, see for yourself.” The man disappeared back into the sickbay, leaving Felix blinded by the white light.
As Damiver fetched Nova and came back with her wrapped tightly around his arms, the four of them stepped into the sickroom. Lily was lying on the table, her face reflecting pale but still beautiful nonetheless. It looked as if she was sleeping, but Felix noticed her breaths were very shallow and weak.
“She’s a fighter,” chuckled Mikhail who was leaning on the counter to the bed’s left, “It’ll take more than a few shot gun pellets to kill a Shadow Templar.” On the other counter on the bed’s right side, Naz gave a grim smile.
“Anyways, I like for you guys to meet my medic, Russ Aure. He’s one of the original EDEN left from before Orbis. You guys probably met on the battlefields and didn’t even know each other.”
Felix extended a hand, which Russ shook enthusiastically, “Glad to be back with you guys,” he smiled ecstatically as he made rounds shaking everyone’s hands. Felix thought the man seemed incapable of any work whatsoever, given his current bemused look upon his face.
All of a sudden, something clattered to the floor, and Felix saw Lily bolt upright just in time as a plate of bloody tools flew past his face and smashed into the opposite side wall. In a flash, she had dashed off of the medical table, and in a whirl of white cloth, Felix found her holding Maldran in a headlock with a scalpel to his neck. The room came to a standstill; Felix dared not breathe.
“Lily?” Mikhail edged cautiously towards her, “Lily it’s ok, we’re ok.”
Her silver eyes darted furiously from one person to another, apparently unable to recognize the familiar faces. Felix the scalpel dig deeper into Maldran’s skin, on the verge of puncture. He was not going to survive at this rate.
“Hey Lily,” Naz joined in in the coaxing, “Put that knife down. We aren’t going to hurt you.” He inched closer, with ever step he took came a dull thud of his black combat boots. It pounded Felix’s brain.
“Do you remember who you are?” Russ asked with a hint of annoyance as he glanced from Lily’s demented face to his beloved medical supplies now carelessly littered upon the floor, “Lily? Do you know your name?”
Lily’s breathing came in ragged, seething rasps. She fumed into the back of Maldran’s neck, seeing no difference between friend and foe. Felix’s finger itched for the G-35 Ghoul, but he calmed himself. If Lily detected his aggression, Maldran would be gone forever.
“Lily?” Naz whispered as he inched closer, “Your name?”
Lily’s eyes convulsed in a flurry of grey insanity. Her lips seemed to want to say something, but all Felix could hear was a whisper.
Pricking up his ears, he heard the two words, and felt the hairs on his arms stand up on end. Lily’s voice scared the sh** out of him. Felix was sure Maldran would soon soil himself if not rescued. Maldran started to whimper.
Naz scooted closer, his outstretched arm only a few feet away from the scalpel still held tightly around Maldran’s throat. Mikhail was on the other side, bringing in a second flank on their snail-like pace of a two-pronged take down.
Her head rolled from side to side, as if swimming with overloading thoughts. Lily’s eyes could not focus as they lolled around her eye sockets. The grey irises provided no hint of conscious control. Felix could almost feel her pain and suffering. It didn’t take a telepath to read the universal language of agony.
“That’s it darling,” Mikhail stretched out his own hand, his fingertips only a few inches away from the knife, “A bit closer now…”
And then, Lily’s head straightened around. Her eyes snapped back into focus and glared into Mikhail’s eyes. The two men had froze in their advancement, and Felix felt a feeling of being utterly screwed.
“My name,” Lily stated coldly, “Is Lillian White.” She turned her head to Naz, who wore an expression of shock, “And I remember… everything…”
Without warning, she thrust the scalpel forwards directly towards Naz’s head. With amazing reflexes, he dodged, but Felix could see the steel blade graze the top of Naz’s nose as it screamed across the air into a jar of cotton balls. The glass shattered with a magnificent ring and the floor was littered with the white synthetic material.
As Maldran’s stunned body was thrown aside, Lily charged at Felix, and before he could react, he felt himself being lifted into the air. The Shadow Templar’s amazing strength held him aloft for a fraction of a second, and the next thing he knew, Felix felt the wall come slamming into his face. He slid to the floor, dazed and seeing Star Pixies circling hazily around his head.
“Lily! Stop!” Mikhail roared pleadingly, but then, through Felix’s unfocused eyes, Mikhail was also kicked away by a blur of whiteness.
And then, a scream, piercing the room at the top of her lungs. Felix wanted to cover his ears, but his arms refused to move, as if scared into submission. Then, he saw Nova and Naz, both somehow on top of Lily, forcing her into the wall. Naz had a furious expression on his face as Lily tried to force the two of them off with her mind.
Then, her silver eyes replaced the murky grey, and her screams backed down. Lily blinked a couple of times, then fixed her gaze upon Naz, who had sweat pouring down his face. Lily’s chest heaved up and down as if her lungs were trying to burst out of her ribs. As Felix stumbled back up, Lily’s mouth gaped open, gasping for breath. She then fell into Naz’s awaiting arms, and started to cry.
It was over. The brief period of insanity had ended, leaving the company as confused as ever. For a moment, it was silent, the sickbay’s tranquility punctured only by Lily’s muffled sobs on Naz’s shoulder. He was rubbing her back, trying to calm her down, but it seemed as if the more Naz tried, the harder Lily bawled.
“Hey, hey it’s ok, it’s us,” Naz whispered into her ears. His mouth was a centimeter away from her white silver hair, and he had her in an embrace so tight that they seemed to be one person. Felix thought of Maldran for a bitter, ironic moment, but then pushed that junk to the back of his mind.
“Naz… Naz I’m… I’m so… so sorry!” Lily whimpered, her face still buried in Naz’s shoulder, “I thought you were… one of them…”
“Shhh, it’s ok…” Naz continued to coo as he gently stroked Lily’s hair. Felix’s eyes darted to Maldran for a brief second. He was standing now, his arms supporting his body on a countertop, his face contorted in a frightened yet loathing expression.
Out of the corner of his eye, Felix noticed Damiver come up behind Nova and wrap his arms tightly around her waist and held her close, as if unwilling to ever let her go again. His own hands feeling empty, Felix shoved them into his black combat uniform’s pockets. A particular thought, a particular person strode into his mind, and Felix blinked back a tear. Thinking of her only made matters worse.
Date: November 25, 3008
Location: GPS Error
Fenris grunted in agony as he wrapped his arm in a white clothed bandage. Nova’s aim was stunningly accurate, and the katana had pierced straight through his left bicep. Letting a few drops trickle to the floor, he grinned nonetheless.
“So you’ve done it?” A man in the shadows rasped.
Fenris looked up and brought himself up from his kneeling position. Making sure the bandage was extra tight, he replied with a firm voice, “It is done…”
Through the blackness before him, Fenris could see the man’s teeth show, gleaming off of the dim light of the chamber. His lips spread into a snicker of hell, almost scaring Fenris himself.
“Good, Fenris, Good.” The man paused for a moment, then continued in a wicked tone, “Now… do it.”
Nodding curtly, he pivoted around and strode out of the large chamber. As the large stone double doors slid shut behind him, Fenris snickered to himself and proceeded down the blackened hallways towards an elevator at the very end.
As the metal box chugged down the shaft, Fenris checked his watch. 6:15. Grinning wryly to himself, he stepped out of the elevator just as the bell dinged his floor. This level was entirely white, cleaned so perfectly that it seemed as if the walls were gleaming with absolute nothingness. Fenris advanced down the hallway and then turned the corner into an alcove in the wall.
“Voice Print Identification,” a female’s computerized voice ordered.
Fenris straightened himself up, as if presenting himself honorably to the Maple Gods, and boasted, “Fenris Shale.”
“Accepted,” the computer replied and the wall slid open, revealing a dark room filled with a complex system of computer screens and other machines. Fenris made his way past the workers and stood on a podium at the very center. The men around him looked up eagerly, as if he were their master giving them food.
“Men we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Fenris sighed as he looked down at his watch. Every minute wasted was another set back. But no more.
With a triumphant gleam in his eyes, Fenris looked up into the main screen and ordered with a confident tone, “Project Lily Initiate.” The computer screens blipped on and instantly, a small room with seven inhabitants lit up. There was a medical bed in the middle, of the room, standing out proudly as the bright surgeon’s light glossed brilliantly and incandescently off of the steel frame. A grin etched itself upon Fenris’ face: the smirk of a winner.