Between Good and Evil

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 of Between Good and Evil is an in-progress work. I will take both constructive-criticism and opinions in the comments. Changes in writing may take place.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Lab Rat

Submitted: June 06, 2016

Reads: 562

Comments: 1

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Submitted: June 06, 2016

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“Wake up… Your story is just beginning.” His bloodshot eyes shot open in a frenzy looking for a face to latch onto. Bleak memories shot in and out of his head, obscured and manipulating his thoughts like phantoms from the past. His vision was blurred and kept him from detecting detail or patterns. The walls seemed to be stained with blank faces, faded and beyond recognition. All around him was a dense substance, engulfing his body in a foul slime. His mind remained blank, and his face expressionless, evading all memories of past events. The intensity of the headache made him delusional, forcing him to endure a hypnotic pressure straining his thoughts. It was too difficult to think, too difficult to breathe. The pain slowly subsided but the uneasiness continued. His breathing was erratic and every breath he took hurt his throat. The air he breathed in was stale and artificial. Perhaps it was this that was keeping him in a sleep-like state. He looked around for anything of use to him. Metal constraints suppressed his movements, keeping him in place while sending waves of pain into his spinal cord with every futile movement. The shockwave rippled throughout his body, spreading into his arms and legs before dispersing. Conceding, he remained still momentarily, floating in an unknown sea with his senses immobilized.

The perpetual strain that had been suppressing his movements was almost gone, returning his vision as well as his hearing. His eyesight was still affected by the murky liquid surrounding him, but he could make out a circular bottom of what appeared to be a tank. The liquid’s refraction allowed him to deduce two feet of glass separating him from the blurs, something that, he assumed, would be considered impossible to deduce even without having his senses impaired. It was worrying. The glass in front of him was far too thick for for simply containing the weight of the water around him. Was it to contain him? This begs the question, why so cautious?

Rejuvenated, he observed movement on the other side of the tank that held him prisoner. The fluid’s distortion kept him from reading the scene so he focused on colors instead of detail. He could depict flashes of movement that vanished as quickly as they had appeared. “White blurs. Lab coats?” It seemed unlikely, but it was still a lead. Muffled voices bounced around, creating vibrations in the tank. Pause. He concentrated on the voices and strangely enough, he understood certain words. “Phase… Complete… Subject... Awake… Identity…" No, that was wrong. He didn’t hear any words. He glanced up towards the top of the tube to see movement in the liquid. It was almost unnoticeable, but he was sensing speech. His focus was broken and the patterns reverted unreadable.

He noticed rubber tubes connected to his arms, legs, and back. The tubes snaked behind and attached to a flat surface, which seemed to be where they interlocked with the wall. He aimed for the tube installed into his back, but the metal constraints sent electricity throughout the tank. Odd. He had been shocked twice already but this seemed to be the first time the fluid had started to heat. His body burned and a current began to form around him with increasing velocity. It began to gain speed, embedding bruises into his arms. He pulled himself up frenetically trying to wiggle his wrists free, causing another shockwave to hit him. He sank back down in the tube, the current continuing to pick up speed.

A bolt keeping his constraint latched to the ceiling gave way, allowing a chunk of metal to enter the stream and slash into his forehead. A look of anger crossed his face as the metal created a gash centimeters away from his eye. He glared up at the base the bolt had been attached to. One down, one to go. “If I could just…” He stretched his arm into the current, creating tension to unhook the damper in the ceiling. The blood from the gash in his head diffused throughout the tank, veiling him in a red curtain. The intense current began to slow until it came to a halt. It was dark.

A shrill sound echoed around him, materializing as an alarm in his mind. Confusion swept over his face as he examined the reinforced glass. There was something wrong. Shouts could be heard in the distance. He pressed his hand firmly against the glass and a crack moved outwards toward his fingertips. His face lit up. He then tried pulling his left hand loose and the bolts sank down to the grate at the bottom of the tank. The shouting of scientists became more apparent, but it wasn’t out of concern as much as it was fear. He grinned widely, without realizing it. The murky yellow slime was now light red, concealing his view as well as his captors.

He tore the shackles off his feet and braced his back against the wall of the tank. He wasn’t a fan of paper cuts, so he knew it would hurt like hell. He kicked the front of the glass, deepening the origin of the crack and creating crystalline webbing that wrapped around the tank. Once more he brought his legs in, ready to thrust when the glass shattered into snow cutting his arms and torso. “What a day.”

His eyes sharpened to see frantic scientists lunging for the door. The few who remained burst into panic except for one professor who was typing rapidly, hurrying to complete a diagram that looked like an analysis of a... person. Above the diagram in bold letters read F4Z3 and a version number. He remained expressionless, then grinned. The scientists were grabbing handfuls of data before sprinting down the hallway, petrified. However, his concentration remained set towards what he thought was the head scientist, who was intensely jotting down information into a thick brown journal, his focus dominant over the wail of the siren.

He mockingly picked up a spear of glass and hurled it at the siren, stapling it to the corner wall. He glowed warmly. “That’s useful.” Maybe the scientist had information on his identity. He grabbed another shard of glass, intending to pick his brain for answers. Slowly, he moved towards the scientist who remained absorbed in his work. This was the man behind everything. If anyone didn't deserve mercy, it was him. There was no indication of resistance. That would make it easier for him. The scientist stopped typing, uploaded the file he was working on, put his notebook into a nearby drawer, and pulled out a large case which he began to unlatch. He then locked the drawer.
The man squinted, shifting his focus onto what he was holding. “Is that…” The scientist set the case down on the floor beside him before sitting at an upright posture. He looked surprisingly calm, almost as if he were in a quiescent state. Almost as if he were trapped in time or separated from his earthly body. Chunks of flesh blanketed the room as the man stepped back, losing what nutrients he had left. The gun fell from the lap of the dead scientist and landed on the floor beside him.

Contrary to his reaction, he remained emotionless. He didn't care about the scientist, so why would his death elicit such a response?

Why had he vomited? That’s exactly what a normal human would do, but was it out of instinct? He knew it was a grotesque sight, but his heart hadn’t skipped a beat. The scene seemed not only natural, but oddly familiar. He clenched his fists, mixing his mind with thoughts of anger and determination. Unfortunately for him, that gun could be the difference between life and death. He warily trotted over and picked the stained gun off the cold stone floor.

He glanced around the room, looking for some information he could use to his advantage. He noticed the computer used by the scientist with the body analysis still onscreen. The display flickered and distorted, and sparks shot up from the computer’s hard drive. He would need to be fast. Blood began to seep into the front of the computer and the wiring was verges away from short circuiting. Swiftly, he ran up to the computer screen, searching for the keyboard. He pulled up the document the scientist had been logging information into:

Project F4Z3

Codename [FAZE]

Subject: Offline

Status: Failed

Continguencies: Death

The computer screen scrambled as it flashed images rapidly. He stepped back in agony, reaching for his head. Images shot in and out, and disarray plagued his mind. System plans, blueprints, and director logs overwhelmed him. It continued for seconds and then it was gone. The computer had fried. His thoughts came to a standstill, and all that remained was the clear image of a countdown that he had noticed when cycling through the data. A countdown for what? He looked back over to see a logbook lying on the table. His eyes grew wide as he took off down the long, barren hallway. The schematics for the facility appeared again, giving him a mental compass of his escape route. That damn logbook. What luck... He continued sprinting, following the ceaseless pathway that would hopefully lead him to light. The facility grew cold the farther he went into it. If his calculations were right he had to go down to come back up. He needed to hurry. There wasn't much time. The deeper he went the colder and darker it got. He ran through the confines, the walls slowly shifting from metal to rock the further he went. On and on they went. He was reaching and uncharted area that was far below the architectural prints he had seen. He would have to navigate based on intuition from this point on if he were to make it back to the surface.

 

He remembered what the logbook said. Inside laid a recently dated request for a system-wide lockdown. He remembered the scientist rapidly scribbling notes before locking away a leather notebook into the steel drawer beside him. What was in that notebook? He knew it was important but he didn't have time to go back for it right now. The clock was ticking. The request for a system-wide lockdown would take time to be approved but if this “timer” was correct, then he had 10 minutes to escape the research facility before all exits were sealed, separating him from the outside with 10 inches of titanium alloy in between. He had long realized they were experimenting on him, but the question of where he came from still bounced in his head.

 

To be continued...

 


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