Sunlight fell from the melting sun that pooled within the clouds. The light crept over the darkened land like a fresh breath of air seeping into the lungs of a dying soldier that lay among the countless other bodies upon the soiled dirt and stone. Their limbs twisted to resemble more like limbs of a spider than that of arms and legs. Broken bones, snapped joints, torn tendons, and severed arteries were a common injury with these soldiers. Blood. Blood rolled slowly across the ground, pulled by the gentle whisper of gravity. They were all the same, we are all the same, we all bleed. . .we all fight. . .we all kill. We are the same as those about us, fighting for what we truly believe in. A fact of life, common knowledge, something automatically programmed into our minds. Words of wisdom that bury themselves within the mental mindsets of all creatures that litter about the earth. Fighting is the only answer.
The blood was beginning to seep into the wide cracks between the stone and sand. The hardening liquid let out a foul odor to those who shuffled over the bodies to get to return to the Set or simply to heal the injured. As though..there was nothing wrong with this tasteless blood shed. But who was she to judge, who was she to question, who was she to plead, to beg, to fight, to cry, to mourn? She held the wrist of one of the victims within her fingertips, feeling the cool corpse's neck for that of a pulse. She was a doctor, not a miracle worker. And so she let the limb drop back to the ground and slowly pushed herself to her feet while closing her bag of medical supplies. Her long blonde hair was pulled back in an elegant, but terribly messy braid that swung over her shoulder while she worked. Her glasses were flush against her nose, and projected her vision to more accurate sights. However, they often had the habit of slipping down her face and had to be pushed further up the bridge of her nose with her index finger. Emily was not large, or skinny, not tall, nor was she short. The words 'just right' seeped into her mind as she inspected her hands, cleaning the fluids from them with a napkin she had in her back pocket. Grumbling a few things under her breath as she held her hand over the limp body of the soldier; whom almost immediately struck into flame as a match was lit to burn the corpses after she had determined them dead. Burning the body within it's gentle glow, to nothing but a small pile of ash that was swept away in the cold wind and swirled about in the never ending sand. "Bon wai. .. . " She mumbled gently, letting her green irises follow after the remains of the powerful soldiers as they became one once more with nature. Ash to ash, dust to dust, and dirt to dirt.
A shrill voice called her name as she raised her head in surprise.
“Yes?” She called back as she swiftly placed the set of matches back within her pocket and moved as quickly as she could to the one who called her. Actually she was quite anxious to get away from the smell of burning bodies as other doctors around her did the same treatment that she often did. Burning the bodies. There honestly was not enough time nor money to bury every soldier even though it would be ideal. It was the dirty work, and they were set up and trained to do so. Though she found it a little strange that not a single soldier had been alive today. Usually, she had a good handful of survivors, but each soldier contained the same injuries. Internal scarring she had discovered when she and Marian had found a man completely split in half and decided to dissect a nearby corpse to see if it held the same wounds.
“This one has it to.” The words reassured her thoughts and she quickly approached her partner’s side.
“The scarring?” She questioned innocently and pushed her bangs from her eyes to get a better look to the rippled flesh of the soldier who had been impacted just like the rest. “What could have done this?” She hissed under her breath toward her assistant who meekly shrugged. “I’ve never seen anything like this Doctor Emily.”
Emily nodded her head, pulled a glove from the case she had been carrying around, and pulled it around her fingertips. She reached forward to probe the flesh as though trying to identify what chemicals could have possibly cooked a man from the inside out.
“Beaker, forceps, and dropper.” She commanded, and her assistant helplessly followed her instructions. She must have been in too much of a shock to do anything else.
“don’t worry, I was sick on my first outing too.” Emily sympathized with the younger girl and a thin smirk twisted across her lips. It was obvious that she was holding her breath so she wouldn’t have to inhale the sickly scent of burned skin and deroding bodies.
“I’m not. . .not sick. . “ The younger girl tried to say, before covering her mouth with her hand. “maybe a little. . “
Emily’s skillful fingers prodded the innards of the soldier, cutting off a sample of skin and placing it within the beaker. Her assistant capped the specimen and set it once more inside of the case.
“Ah, Emily.” A deep male voice interrupted the deafening silence of their surroundings.
She nearly snipped through a vein of the specimen in surprise.
“Alexander.” She responded blankly and didn’t even bother to glance up at him as she continued with her handy work; extracting some of the fluids that had leaked from the skin with the dropper.
“What is your diagnosis?” He questioned.
She never liked him. Honestly, if she had a diagnosis already did he think she would still be sitting around pulling at corpses? She narrowed her eyes and forced a smile to her lips.
“Not yet .” She replied stiffly, her posture similar to a statue.
“Well you best hurry up, we have to be evacuated out of here in a good hour or so.”
“I know.” She hissed once again, and he took the cue to slowly back up and give her some room to work.
“What do you think it is?” Her assistant questioned the Doctor who remained standing above them.
“I have not the faintest idea. Twenty five personally trained combat men slain within minutes with not a single survivor. It simply screams some type of gas.”
Why was he stating the obvious?
Her mood went from calm to incredibly annoyed as she took the last of her samples and stood to her feet alongside her assistant.
“well thank you for your contribution sir.” Her words leaked a venomous sound as she turned to snatch up her case from her assistant. Emily’s eyes narrowed to slits as she slowly strolled past him in a proper manner. “But I’m certain a man could never comprehend anything scientific at this extent. In fact, why are you even here?” She questioned, turning to look back at him. “Men are good for nothing other than reproducing and dying upon the battlefield, I’m surprised you even made it through training and managed to get a job in our field.” And with that, she continued walking forwards. "Hopefully, you'll find more out here than I, Alexander." Her assistant remained looking toward him and offered a meek smile before following after her Doctor.
“Who does he think he is? Of course it was a gas, a weapon.” She growled, ranting to herself as they made their way back to the train.
“He was just trying to contribute.”
“Oh shut up Bon.” Emily hissed toward her, and her assistant took that as her cue to grow silent and let the doctor rant out as she wished. Bon raised an eyebrow. Was Emily leaving him behind above ground, and taking the train back herself? Emily watched Alexander from the window. He was the last doctor on the Set, and just perhaps, he would find something else out there. She checked her watch, it was time to go back.
“At least we can figure out the compound makeup from the samples once we return to the lab.” She continued speaking to her silent assistant. The pair of them scaled the stairs onto the train platform and took a seat upon the comfortable mesh coverings upon the padding of their chairs. They latched the metallic seat covers over their heads and hooked them into the locks that protruded on either side of chair near their hips. Safely secured into their chairs, the small private train lurched forwards and underground with breakneck speed, turning and twisting like a snake would do to flee the beating of a horse's hoofs. Heading North to return to the lab and analyze the samples that they had collected.
Sooner than not, the train screeched to a stop. The small machine hardly contained enough seats to hold ten people. Hundreds of wheels lined the base of the steel contraption and complicated electronic boxes lined each side. The door slid open, seat belts popped open and swung above their heads allowing them to exit the vehicle and enter the city. Metal lined the ceilings to the long hallway and bright white walls lined every which way. The floor mirrored their reflections and the ceiling above and was nearly slippery to the step unless you had the proper footwear.
“Do you have the case?” Emily glanced back toward Bon who seemed to have some difficulty holding her footing upon the floor. The fool must have not worn her work shoes. She fell upon her knees and slowly moved across the floor as skillfully as possible.
“um. . .yes. . “ She managed to say, holding the case closer to her shoulder and her hand against the wall to support her weight as they crept along the hallway. They entered through the massive clear doorway that guarded the little city from invaders. Soon the narrow short hallway extended into a large room and the ceiling expanded to stretch nearly thirty feet upwards. Allowing space for several staircases, rooms, hallways, and walk ins. Labs were positioned in nearly every direction along with elevators and smoke that erupted from beakers. Vents blew out chilled air from scientifically created energy and other doctors merged about exchanging data in the main room.
Bon followed meekly behind Emily as she maneuvered her way about the organized mess of doctors and their work.
“Emily, have you come in contact with Alexander?” An attendant questioned her as Emily approached closer to her office. The woman held a clipboard within her dark and well manicured hands. Black curls framed her sparkling pearl eyes and Emily looked the other way in embarrassment.
Emily thought back to the annoying male doctor that had come to ‘small chat’ with them, and briefly shook her head. A thin smile crept across her lips as she forged worry.
“Why, has he not returned yet?” She asked innocently, glancing back toward Bon who had opened her mouth to say something and was quickly silenced.
“Afraid not, and your train was the last one scheduled to return.” The woman finished stiffly, pushing her glasses up and shaking her head.
“We’ll have to send out another train and use up more Ectomain.” She sighed, flipping her papers over the clipboard and tucking her pen behind her ear. “Best get to figuring out the basis of the attack in NewBrige, Emily. Mr. Trine is very discouraged that so many lives were lost in the slaughter.”
“I will.” She sharply replied. The woman clicked her tongue. Some boy was waiting at your office earlier, saying it was urgent to see you." Emily raised a brow and nodded her head to the woman;motioning to Bon to continue. They entered through her office and closed the door behind them after flicking on the lights.
“You heard them Bon, we need to hurry up.” Emily snapped, glancing toward her younger assistant who had been looking in the mirror at her wild eyes and soft appearance.
“Ah, yes!” She squeaked, walking quickly with the case and set it upon the table for Emily to begin working. Assembling the testing equipment and data charts for her access.
Emily pushed her goggles up around her nose and tightened the apron upon her shoulders and reached out to secure the piece of tissue from the soldier within a pair of forceps and gently brought the blue chemical into a boil before placing it inside.
“I apologize for being so crude earlier.” Emily stated stiffly, keeping her eyes upon the experiment. However, Bon nearly dropped the data sheets she was holding in surprise.
“I-I-I um. . uh. ..no need to apologize Doctor Emily.” She stammered, smiling and offering the papers to her quickly.
“I should not have been so dismissive, you volunteered to help me.”
“True, but you’re under a lot of stress, please hold no refrain on allowing me to help you.” Bon replied, her smile widening as she nodded her head.
She glanced down toward the charts and identified the reaction the fluids were having to the chemicals.
“Xfite. . .” She mumbled, glancing down to the chart again before looking up and turning off the burner and rubbing her forehead.
“How is that even possible?” She questioned, checking once more to make sure.
“What is it Emily?” Bon questioned, before Emily shot her a look.
“I mean. . what is it Doctor?” She corrected, moving to her side.
“Xfite. . .the chemical used in the explosion was Xfite.”
“But that is impossible!” Bon correlated.
“Xfite doesn’t exist anymore. . the natural element went extinct nearly a hundred years ago!”
“Unless someone found another way to fabricate it’s natural substance. . It just doesn’t add up. . .all samples were destroyed nearly a hundred years ago.”
Emily shook her head and sighed. “How are we supposed to make a prevention antidote even we don’t have any of the substance on hand?”
Bon glanced upwards. “we have the samples from the soldiers?”
“That’s not nearly enough. We would need Xfite in it’s raw form, it’s natural form.”
“yes?” She answered, picking up the chemicals and beginning to clear the table.
“Write out a letter to the head doctor, because unless anyone else discovers anything, we’re at a standstill in lab five.”
“Doctor. .. “
"I'm afraid so." Emily bit her lip and stared toward the data as it printed wildly from the machine. Paper flew from the printer and scuttled about the floor as though the machine was panicking. She looked up to the ceiling.