Sarah couldn’t do it. As much as she had wanted to be able to enjoy the rest of the day with her two friends, she was afraid of what Marty would say if he discovered that she had been drinking rather than watching his experiment, which was likely to change everyone’s lives. As she walked down the hallway her mind continued to wander to various topics of speculation, until she saw Jack come bounding around the corner once again, barreling right for her. Jack screeched to a halt beside her and spoke breathlessly.
“There’s something…inside…don’t go down there….” He managed to say before he took off once again, presumably towards the control room.
Sarah stopped for a moment as she tried to comprehend what he had said, and after a moment decided to ignore it and continue back to her assigned post. She managed to comfort herself by remembering how much Jack had enjoyed drinking, and didn’t doubt that he and the other guards had also gotten in on the celebrations, so she ignored his warnings. Her biggest comfort was that she had no need to go down to the storage level, and so she walked up to the door into the medical room and out of curiosity checked it. The door had not been tampered with, which quelled her rising fear that something might have happened to the subject, and when she walked through the door noticed that the man was still in the chair with the sheet over him as he had been left, so she calmed down, locked herself in, and sat down to finish her work. After a few minutes of writing she heard a quite sound such as is made when a droplet of water falls onto metal from a height. She turned around behind her and stared at the sink, though when she heard the sound again and nothing came from the faucet, she shifted her gaze over to the convict.
Sarah rose slowly, walking over to him and then dropping to one knee to examine what she had seen on the floor. She touched the small pool with her fingers and quickly realized that it was blood. Alarmed, Sarah stood and removed the sheet from the chair and revealing the man in his slumber. Her eyes fell onto his hand which had a large amount of blood on it. The second thing she noticed was that the metal restraints on his wrists and ankles were broken.
She opened her mouth to scream and before she was able to let out a sound, the man leapt out of the chair and snarled inhuman-like teeth at her. It then hit her with tremendous force, tearing into the front of her neck and snapping the vocal chords with its teeth. Sarah cringed in pain as she managed to push the experiment off of her. Holding her throat with one hand to ease the bleeding, she crawled for the door and suddenly remembered that she had used the code to lock it. Before she was able to stand the creature was back on top of her, and stuck its hand into her back, the toughened nails shredding through the skin until it managed to get its hand on her spine and with unbelievable force managed to crush it, which in turn tore the spinal chord inside of it. She felt a sharp sensation of pain shoot through her body before she lost all feeling and control of the muscles below her neck, causing her to fall limp to the ground. Sarah flailed her head desperately in silence as the mutated convict picked her up and slammed her into the safety-glass, splattering blood all over it before she slumped onto her back on the floor with her head propped up at a ninety degree angle. Then she watched. Sarah was unable to do anything but look on in horror as the man got onto the floor and began to devour her left leg, his teeth sinking painlessly into her flesh and tearing away great chunks in a bloody mess. In the minutes that Sarah sat watching she was quite certain that there was no worse way to die, than listening to her murderer crunch and chew on her flesh, producing the most sickening noise that she had ever heard. By the time the majority of her leg had been ripped away she fell into a deep sleep due to the loss of blood that she had sustained.
Matt sat in a desk chair across from the windows where the rain still beat down, rolling a bullet around on the desk top.
“Will you give it a fucking rest?” Sully asked as he twisted around from his own chair in annoyance.
Matt chuckled as he knew full well that Sully didn’t have the balls to back up anything he said to him, and so he kept on doing it.
“Oh, so you think that this is a fucking joke?” Sully said as he stood up, though his next words were interrupted as Jack came barging in.
The rest of the men, including Jacobs stood as Jack collapsed onto the floor shaking.
“He’s…he’s fucking dead!” Jack cried as he struggled to catch his breath. “Craig was eaten for Christ sake!”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Eric asked as he kneeled down on the floor next to his friend.
“There is something in the facility that is lethal, and killed Craig!” Jack repeated.
Jacobs got up suddenly as a thought crossed his mind.
“My God, it may have gotten to the convict!” he said as he moved through the door and into the hallway.
The other men stared at each other for a moment before they all got up from their seats and moved to the door. Matt grabbed Craig’s rifle from the counter and followed the others, shutting the door behind them. Marty foolishly moved quickly down the hall in front of the other men, turned corners without checking first, or taking the other precautions that the trained guards were taking. As the group walked past the bunkroom, Jack stopped in quickly and grabbed his own rifle. As he walked out he tossed Eric his pistol so that the maintenance man would have a way to defend himself if necessary.
“You remember how to use one of these?” Jack joked.
Eric ignored the humor and checked to be certain that the safety was off, before both of them caught up with the rest of the group. As they did so they turned a corner and practically ran into the others who were standing frozen in their tracks. Jack and Eric maneuvered themselves to be within view of the operating room, and were met by a shock as they stared at the blood covered windows, which made it difficult to see anything else in there.
“Oh no,” said Jacobs, horrified.
He walked up to the entrance into the room slowly and saw that the door had been bashed down.
“Wait,” Matt said suddenly as Marty was about to step forward. “If something broke into the room, why would the door still be out here?”
“But you aren’t suggesting….” The scientist said as he stepped into the open doorway and stared inside.
After a brief moment, he ran into the room, causing the others to run over there.
“Oh, Jesus, Sarah!” cried Jacobs from inside.
As Jack heard him he also ran in there, dropping to his knees in the enormous pool of blood that had formed under her mutilated corpse.
“What the fuck!?” Sully shouted as he stared into Sarah’s empty eye sockets, the left having been split wider unnaturally.
That entire side of her face was missing, her dented skull exposed in several placed as well as her wisdom teeth on the back of her exposed jaw. As everyone stared at the mess the lights flickered several times again, setting off unnerved groans from the men.
“Of all times for this to be happening!” Matt yelled as he stared at the lights on the ceiling while they were flickering.
“Where are the other two nurses?” asked one of the other guards.
As if to answer his question screams erupted from down the hall.
“Shit!” Jack yelled as he got up and ran out of the room, followed closely by Marty as the group hurried towards the lounge.
As they turned the corner, putting the door into the lounge at the end of the corridor in front of them, the duet of screaming was cut down to a single high pitch. As they ran, the door at the end burst open, and May fell out with blood streaked across her face, though no open cuts were visible. What was clear however, was that her lower right leg was absent, causing a trail of blood to streak behind her as she tried to get away from the door way. A mutilated arm suddenly reached out from the darkness in the room and grabbed her other ankle, digging sharp nails into the skin and tearing her Achilles tendon. The crack was loud enough to startle the men as several took aim, though before they were able to get off a shot May was dragged back into the room screaming. The door swung shut again shortly thereafter and the men just stood there, listening to her screams. Everyone flinched as they heard a swipe and her screams changed into a horrific gurgling sound. The eerie silence that ensued made the men glance at each other in fear. There was the sound of a slamming door from within the lounge, which made Jack jump.
Realizing that none of the others were going to, he took a step forward with his gauss rifle trained on the door. He continued to move slowly, followed by Matt and Eric respectively. Jacobs stood in the back with his hands shaking, his courage and ability to continue standing there waning quickly. As he finally lost it, he turned around and screamed.
The mutated experiment that Marty had worked for so long to create in an attempt to reclaim his shattered reputation was standing there before him with blood dripping from its mouth and hands; a testament to the murders that it had committed. The shocked scientist opened his mouth and screamed, and before any of the men could turn around it grabbed onto Marty’s jaw, sticking its thumb under his chin and its fingers into his mouth. It then proceeded to throw him sideways into a wall before placing its other hand onto its creator’s forehead and then ripped the jaw from his skull in a shower of blood. The men, who had now all fully turned were thrown to the ground as the creature threw Marty into them. The convict grabbed one of the guard’s ankles and dragged him back around the corner as Jack and Matt opened fire at it.
“Help me! Oh fucking Christ plea—”
The men flinched as they heard his screams interrupted with a crack. Eric and Matt quickly jumped over the downed guards and moved around the corner with Jack in tow. They all trained their weapons onto the dead man’s body as their eyes searched for the experiment. Jack squeezed between them and ran over to the man, noting that the creature had crushed the man’s skull; presumably by planting its foot firmly into his face.
“Jacobs?” Sully said as he attempted to keep the scientist awake.
“Jackson, try and stop his bleeding,” Sully asked the other guard who was still sitting there in shock with his eyes wide.
“How the fuck am I supposed to do that?” Jackson asked as he watched the mass amounts of blood coming from everywhere around where the jaw was once connected.
Sully sat there, unsure of how to even reply, and then Marty seemed to make an attempt at speaking, though the words were unable to be formed and came out as sick gargles. As he looked into Jacobs eyes which were stricken by pain, Sully stood and pulled out his pistol, before euthanizing the poor old man.
“We’ve got to get the fuck out of here,” Matt said breathlessly.
“Yeah,” replied Eric as he dropped to his knees.
“Jacobs had the God damn information about the ship coming to get us,” Sully remarked quietly as he pulled off his glasses. “There’s no way for us to know when it will get here.”
Jack came back around the corner and then stared down the hall to the door into the lounge.
“They’re both dead, Jack,” Matt stated. “There’s no point seeing what he did to them.”
Jack nodded absently as he then looked down at Sully.
“You know the access codes to the front entrance, right?” he asked.
“Why? The door’s not locked from the inside,” Sully remarked.
“No, but if we want to lock this thing in here we’ll need them,” said Jack, followed by an understanding nod from Sully.
“Clear,” said Matt as he pointed the barrel of his rifle down the corridor towards the entrance.
Jack slowly moved around the corner with his back facing the large doors with his own rifle trained at the hall leading in the opposite direction.
“Clear,” repeated Jack as he lowered his rifle and the other three men entered the corridor, before they all started towards the doors.
As they reached both doors Sully opened up a panel next to it while the others provided him with cover. Jack found it eerie to be staring down the main hall, which spanned the length of the entire facility. As they watched, they saw the light at the far end of the hall flicker, and then go out. Several seconds later the next closest light flickered, and extinguished. The men looked at each other as several more flickered and fed the darkness building at the end of the hallway.
“The generator is going out,” Eric whispered as he glanced back at Sully. “Hurry the hell up.”
The silence mounted as the blackness that loomed before them crept closer and closer until it stared them in the face. As they were left standing in the only light still on, the door opened at last and the final light went out, leaving a pale source of light from the moon as the only tool by which they could see. The natural darkness outside and the steady downpour of rain was a comfort to all of the men as they quickly got out of the nightmarish facility and Sully closed the doors behind them. All of the men let out great sighs of relief as the door was locked and the complex was sealed as the flickering lights on the outside panel dimmed and the generator’s lifespan was finally over, making it impossible to reactivate the door locks on the huge blast doors.
“Let’s get up to the landing pad and wait up there—somehow I’ll feel a bit safer up there,” Jack remarked as he looked at the lights surrounding the circle that stuck up on poles.
As the men started off into the trees to take a more direct route to the back of the outpost where the ramp was, Jack suddenly found himself wishing that he had worn something warmer as the cold air and rain soaked every inch of his body.
None of the men said a word during the long walk as none of them felt that there was anything to say—they had seen it all with their own eyes. They had seen things that no one should ever be forced to watch or even hear, and it wasn’t over yet; it wouldn’t be until they were safely in the air and away from this place.
“Watch it,” Jackson muttered as he shined his rifle’s light on a large, low branch sticking out from a tree that he had barely managed to miss himself.
As the group of men rounded one of the corners of the facility they came into view of a frightening sight: one of the windows in the command center had been smashed. Everyone froze in their tracks as they stared at it, several of them raising their weapons.
“It got out,” Matt whispered with eyes wide in shock.
Before anyone could move a dark figure dropped from the trees above them and onto Sully, thrusting him to the ground. He screamed before the creature’s two hands dug into his neck and smashed his spine, sending pieces of jagged bone ripping through the other side and through his esophagus in a bloody cloud. Sully lay on the ground as he went into shock from lack of oxygen and then the experiment dove backwards, hitting Jackson and sending him flying to the ground a few yards away. The creature then disappeared into the darkness as the men’s lights were too slow to catch it. Matt ran over to Jackson as he groaned on the ground while Eric and Jack confirmed that Sully was dead.
“We’ve got to get out of these trees and up onto the platform!” Shouted Matt as he helped Jackson sit up.
Matt was thrown back suddenly however, as the beast came back to finish its work and grabbed Jackson by the neck, thrusting his body into the thick jagged branch that he had pointed out earlier. Frantic now, Matt opened fire blindly into the blackness in front of him in a futile attempt to wound it. After several seconds he stopped and ran quickly back to the other two before they rounded the final corner and put the ramp onto the roof in view.
Jack looked up suddenly at a slight noise, and was delighted by the sight of a drop ship, which was coming in for an approach.
“They’re here!” Eric cried as hope and adrenaline pumped through each man’s body; their spirits renewed.
Their momentary celebration was interrupted as a terrifying cry echoed through the trees behind them, and they realized that they weren’t going to get out of this that easily. Matt stopped as a thought rushed through his mind.
“You two go!” he shouted breathlessly as the demons on his shoulders quarreled over what he should really do. “I’ll hold it off long enough for you to get away!”
“The hell you are!” Jack cried as he stopped too.
“He’s right, Jack!” Eric chimed in. “If he can’t distract it none of us will make it!”
Jack hesitated for a moment as he finally had the choice whether or not his friend lived or died, and it caught him off guard. Another moment’s thought reminded Jack that once Matt had made up his mind about something, he went through with it no matter what.
“But….” Jack began to protest.
His objection was interrupted as the creature slammed into Matt at an angle, sending him flying off into the darkness, separated from his rifle.
“Come on!” Eric cried as he kept Jack from running after Matt. “We’ve got to get out of here!”
Jack hesitantly obeyed and took off with Eric towards the ramp, leaving Matt behind.
“Come on you mother fucker!” Matt screamed as he stood and wiped mud from his face. “You want a piece of me you fucking mutant!?”
Matt pulled out his pistol as he stared at the light on his rifle.
“Come on asshole!” he cried as he fired several rounds at the movement in front of him, and dove out of the way as the creature dropped down from the trees once again. Matt fired several rounds into its chest as he charged it, though the slugs didn’t phase it in the slightest. He ran into it full speed, and cried out in pain as he knocked it to the ground and fell on top of its waiting hand, causing the sharp nails to puncture his abdomen. He punched it in the head and then rolled off of it quickly, though it recovered rapidly and jumped back on top of him. He screamed again as the creature revealed its teeth and bent over his neck, feasting on his prize as Matt’s screams finally waned and echoed throughout the forest.
Jack listened in sadness to Matt’s dying cries as the loading ramp of the drop ship opened and a group of armed marines were revealed, quite shocked by getting a welcoming party in such weather. Eric and Jack both ran on board quickly as the sergeant of the marines turned to face them.
“What the hell is going on?” he asked in confusion.
“We’ll explain later, just close that fucking ramp and let’s get the hell out of here!” Jack shouted, causing the sergeant to display an expression of shock at such an insubordinate answer.
“What about the others?” Asked a soldier as he lowered his rifle.
“There are no fucking others! It killed everyone!” Eric screamed this time, causing one of the younger men to walk over and press the button to raise the ramp out of fear.
As the sergeant turned to yell at him his facial expression became plastered onto his face as the experiment dove through the small opening still there and pounced onto the man nearest the door before sticking its nails deep into his eyes. The man screamed in pain as the sergeant swore loudly and several of the younger marines opened fire, causing some of the marines to fall to the ground after being struck by ricochets. One soldier attempted to get out through the small opening still left as the ramp closed, though the experiment slammed into him from behind and pushing his head through the opening. He shouted in horror for someone to open it just before the ramp closed, decapitating him instantly and silencing his cries.
“The cockpit windows!” Eric cried as the beast then turned to look at him with a look of hunger still embedded in its face.
It lunged towards him and he dove out of the way firing, though the creature merely got back up and jumped into the cockpit as the pilots scrambled for their own weapons. It swiped at the co-pilot’s face violently, making three jagged red marks across his face and one eye, before his head fell forward and ignited the engines and the ship began lifting off of the ground. The pilot fired a single round into the convict’s head before his own head was smashed through the windshield. After a quick observance of what it had done it heard the ramp start to open again and turned to face three rifles.
“FIRE!” Jack screamed as he, Eric, and the Sergeant opened up on it, the rounds peppering its body.
The power knocked it over, and for once it didn’t get back up. The three stood there hyperventilating as they saw the damage that the single being had inflicted, as several wounded men writhed on the floor. The trio quickly moved over and inspected it to be certain that it was really dead, and as they turned towards the ramp it suddenly moved and shoved the sergeant across the ship and down the ramp and also shoved its claw into Eric’s throat. As Eric’s hands clasped onto it Jack slammed it across the forehead with the butt of his rifle and it released him. Jack glanced back in time to watch the sergeant grasp for something to hold onto, though when he found nothing was sent screaming over the edge of the ramp to his death. When Jack turned his head back he watched the experiment crash into him as well, sending both of them to the end of the ramp where Jack managed to grab onto the corner, though the beast was sent over the edge and grabbed onto Jack’s ankle.
“Eric!” Jack cried desperately as he watched his friend choking and dying in a pool of his own blood.
Realizing that he was on his own, Jack kicked at its head with the last of his strength, praying that he would get a lucky hit. In response, the beast stuck its nails into Jack’s leg and ripped downward, tearing flesh and muscle from his leg and nearly making him let go. The next kick hit it in a soft spot, and distracted it momentarily, though it acted shortly thereafter. A pistol suddenly slid down to him as the ship continued a slow ascent, and he grabbed it, though in retribution for the earlier act, the experiment used its strength the shatter the bones in his leg, causing the little flesh still holding it together to give way. The pain from his leg separating from his body was enough to make him let go as he screamed, sending them both plummeting into the trees.
Jack heard the twigs and branches snap beneath him as he fell face-up to the ground but he didn’t feel it due to the excruciating pain emanating from his leg. Praying that his death would be quick he closed his eyes, though he let out a cry as an overwhelming pain shot through him as he was impaled onto a large upright branch upon an enormous oak tree and left to hang there. He grunted as he tilted his head down slightly to see the jagged piece of living wood that was sticking out of his abdomen and covered in blood. Blood began to pour from his nose into his open mouth as he heard a noise above him. As he looked up he saw movement and after a minute realized exactly what it was: the mutated experiment. After everything that it had endured it was still alive and fully functional, almost as if it was learning from its mistakes.
He watched it make its way down carefully through the tangle of branches that it had been caught in up above, when he looked over to his right hand where he still held the pistol he had given Eric not so long ago. As he stared at the weapon, images flashed through his mind of what the beast had done to everyone he had killed; how it had taken slow and deliberate actions and taken its time killing them. Devouring them. It got closer and closer, to the point where its saliva was dripping onto his face. Jack suddenly realized that when he died he wanted to be in control, not a monster.
“You want me alive don’t you, you mother fucking cannibal?” Jack spat, the pain inside of him spiking as he said the words.
The creature merely snarled in response as it stopped just above him.
“Well fuck you,” whispered Jack as he raised the pistol to his head and squeezed the trigger.
Jack didn’t even register it at first. The dry click of an empty pistol wasn’t what he heard. What he heard was him screaming; screaming in pain as he was eaten alive by a monster, which he had observed as it was created.
As the loud, ear piercing, painful echoes died off, the rain slowly stopped. The creature raised its head from its victim’s dead and mutilated body, staring at its work with admiration. It looked up to the sky as the drizzle ceased and the last of the water dripped down its face. With terrific swiftness it moved from limb to limb up to the top of the tree. It shook its head as the water still sticking firmly to the leaves at the top wiped onto its face and they flew back down the tree, perhaps finding a reservoir on their way down. Its head came up through the top layer of the trees and it stopped there, looking out over the silent, dawning day at the lush forests that lay spread out before it and, off in the distance, a sleeping town was awakening. There was a whole new world for it to explore.