Chapter 1: Eyes in the Darkness
A man in a long, black trench coat let his piercing violet eyes survey the dismal scene before him. He was always told that his eyes were his most unique feature, not only their unusual color, but also their tendency to create the impression of looking right through you, revealing what you truly were on the inside. This was a great advantage in his line of work, by which he made his living by discovering things about people or situations. The trench coat waved slowly in his wake as he strode through the smoldering remains of the laboratory. Deformed equipment sparked and sizzled as the man stepped over shattered pieces of glass, rubble, and bodies. It was a shame, he thought, to have the talents of so many great minds snuffed out in such a way. Why? “Well,” he surmised, I guess that is why I am here. And he continued to move around the scene.
Another police officer lifted his head from a holo-screen and called across the room, “Captain Stone, we found something over here.” Stone pushed his thick black hair back as he walked over to where the man stood. Stone stood an impressive 6’1 tall, composed mainly of hardened muscle. He dwarfed the officer who had patched a portable analyzing computer up to the lab’s system. The analyzer program was searching the extensive research network for anomalies. Any anomaly could be a clue to discover what happened in this place. After a few moments, the officer noted, “The program has found an unnamed identification badge that was admitted the morning of the attack, maybe someone made a copy?”
“Hmm,” Adrian Stone mumbled as he stroked his rough and angular chin, “Maybe…but a copy would show the name entering twice, not an unmarked card. I’ll keep it in mind.” He stepped away from the officer and continued on his walk of the facility. Burned out office cubicles and shattered work stations flanked the walls he moved through. Adrian stopped at one that was mostly intact. From the remains, he could tell there was an attempt to decorate it, something an intellectual male was unlikely to do, at least from Adrian’s own experience. Upon further inspection this proved to be the case. A picture of a family and then a half burned picture of a man sat among the ashes. He stepped outside the cubical and picked up a name plate off the ground. It read Dr. Shelby, 1st degree. He set the plate down and moved forward.
As he walked, he found soot marks leading to a very empty cubical. Empty, Stone thought, but not unoccupied. There were a smattering of things put on the walls, but it felt more like a newly-purchased apartment. There was a body in the corner, burned, but also with an energy wound on its torso.
Stone was deep in thought as he meandered back to the center of the lab. He had explored many of the other cubicles and found nothing out of the ordinary. He continued on, watching his feet move on the dirty floor. Out of the corner of his eye he saw an officer kick a round object by accident. It clattered as it spun along the floor until it reached the feet of a young female officer. The object let out a high pitched chime and then began ticking. The woman stared blankly at it, but Stone launched toward her without hesitation. He dove through the air and tackled her to the floor.
“What do you thi….,” The attempted sentence was cut short when a starburst of flame erupted from the object, scorching all of the objects in a six foot radius. This included the back of Captain Stone’s coat, which smoked faintly as he got up and dusted himself off. “Th..Thank you captain!” The young woman sputtered, “You saved me!”
“Don’t mention it, Cara right?” He extended his hand to her and helped her up “But maybe pay more attention next time when a grenade falls at your feet.” He smirked, then turned as numerous other officers rushed to check on her. In a darkened corner on the opposite side of the lab, a pair of cool blue eyes had watched the entire scene unfold.
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