Chapter 28: Second Squad plus BONUS birthdays/timeline
When I wake up, I can smell all sorts of strange things while my cheek rests on cool metal. I blink a couple of times and groan as I lean up, my head swinging back as I realise I had been slumped on a seat.
Eventually I can half-focus my eyes and see I’m in a medium sized lab room, a meeting table of sorts in front of me. I’m not restrained in anyway.
I feel lethargic, my muscles heavy as I glance at the man sitting opposite me.
“You awake yet?” he asks, both gently and arrogantly. My eyes still feel a bit fuzzy so I try to focus and eventually my slow brain catches up with me.
I’m speaking with Lumen.
“Where, am –”
“Shh, shh, the effects wear off quite quickly,” Lumen reassures me as I lean back in my seat and my head does a slow swivel of the room I’m in. Yep. Lab room. White tiles. Glass and – oh my god. STRIKE… in… a rush of adrenaline hits my heart as my eyes devour my ruffled looking beasts.
They were awake, standing and collared to a wall, stuck behind glass. They are not in separate cells but lining the narrow space they’re in. Dale, Ace, Jose and Serge.
“Where am I?” I ask more clearly as I take in the neutral expressions adorning the members of STRIKE and then Lumen, opposite me.
“DynaPrism,” Lumen explains, “The government wants STRIKE to talk. To tell them where the bunker is.”
“What bunker?” I ask, raising a brow – honestly confused because the drugs are slowly wearing off.
My temporary slow thinking, however, works in my favour.
“Smart girl,” Lumen speaks quietly, far more calm than he was in that warehouse. Was he... glad I was denying knowledge of the Black Lair Bunker?
I lick my lips as the drugs quickly start to wear off out of no where. My eyes focus completely.
My heart beat kicks off so high, I stand up with the sudden shock of memories as they all flood into me at once.
“My parents –” I gasp, my heart clenching and tears coming to me. Lumen raises a hand and waves it down back to my seat.
“Sit, dear, Lisa and James O’Brien were never your parents, they were your assigned scientists,” Lumen sighs and kicks back in his chair, putting his shoes on the metal table and crossing his ankles, “Sit, Alyssa – I didn’t kill them, that fat oaf did,” Lumen calling Prof. Hedgy a fat oaf, gives him one point in my book.
So I sit, glancing back at Dale, inquisitively. I wish his eyes could give me answers. They are all watching me carefully.
“Can they hear us?” I ask.
“Sure can, darling,” Ace speaks, barely holding off a nervous waver in his tone.
I knew Lumen made them nervous I just wasn’t sure why.
He was just a man.
“Couldn’t have said hello when I woke up, huh?” I point out, trying to be funny to relax Ace and the team as I lean back in my chair and glance around this boring looking lab. The only points of interest were the glass cell with my four favourite beasts.
I wanted them back.
I was unrestrained so that would work in my favour. My own question, however, was why I was unrestrained?
“Do you know why you’re here?” Lumen asks, “I suppose not –”
“To make them talk,” I nod to Dale and the others, but Lumen shakes his head.
“The government wants me to find out the location of the Howl Inc. bunker, my grandfather’s investment. My investment. STRIKE may have escaped and may know where it is – but perhaps they do not. Perhaps the master-mind I created for my son, is working very well,” he speaks so proudly as he nods to Dale, who just scowls uncontrollably in turn, “perhaps he just lied about the bunker being found to keep the New World off our back. He’s a genius, after all.”
“A megalomaniac,” I correct him, “And a genius – and weapons, all of them, aren’t they? But they escaped DynaPrism,” I point out.
“Some things are uncontainable,” Lumen leans forward, “I’m not going to question you, sweetheart, I’m going to enlighten you.”
“Wouldn’t mind if you do,” I respond, smiling back and strategically playing it calm.
“You’re my property,” Lumen explains, “I designed you, Alyssa. You were stolen by Lisa and James O’Brien, they wanted to give you a normal life. Free of this place,” Lumen sighs and takes his feet off the table to lean forward on his clasped hands as he critically looks me over, “You’re not a slightly altered human with an Ultimate factor. Although it appears that way with your nails and hair. That is why Lisa and James managed to create a normal life for you. But you were a side operation led by myself and my partners, to create a way to… satisfy the lusts of these men,” he nods towards them, “Four of you, to match four of them. One, two, three and four,” when he counts slowly, I am confused.
Until a door opens behind me and I quickly stand and turn to face the intrusion.
I watch as life-like human perfect dolls, come waltzing into the room, wearing nothing but a white strap over their breasts and a tiny white skirt. The three girls, one with black hair, one with blonde and one with light-blue, halt and stare at me with recognition.
“This is your team,” Lumen speaks directly from my side, I hadn’t even heard him come up beside me. I gulp and take a small shuffle to the side and he just smirks with amusement as he holds out his hand to introduce each girl.
“Two, three and four,” Lumen nods at each girl and I give him one majorly offended look.
“You called them, …two…three and four…?” I ask, hardly blinking.
“You’re one, dear –”
“I’m not ‘one’, my name is Alyssa,” I snap at Lumen, oddly feeling weirdly protective of the three gorgeous human dolls I should be extremely threatened of, or jealous… if I was being normal.
But something wasn’t right about them.
I glance over my shoulder and all of STRIKE are looking at the girls with curious, appreciative gazes…but they are also weary.
“Calm down, sweety…” Lumen steps back and let’s me approach each girl. The girls back up against the lab wall and stand still, awaiting instructions. I instantly recognise their social cues seem to be all off. They stare ahead and only sometimes nervously glance at me.
“What did you do to them?” I ask, turning to face Lumen.
“They’ve been refined and reformed into the perfect sex toys, whores, playthings, sluts – they’re better than any succubus. They are a beasts’ perfect fantasy. I programmed love out of their brains. They have been taught nothing, but how to please and how to please perfectly. Without being clingy, naggy or distasteful. They aim to please, as I said.”
“Two,” I speak to the first girl with thick black hair, just past her shoulders. She turns to me and beautiful chocolate eyes blink at me in acknowledgement, “Do you know what math is? Or what… science is…? Or…”
“Science is us,” she explains, “What is a math?”
I blink slowly, letting out an exasperated breath, I turn to Lumen with disgust.
“You taught them nothing but how to please a beast,” I state then ask for reconfirmation, “That’s all they know?”
“That’s all they can do, they have no other purpose,” Lumen shrugs his shoulders, “You escaped the further alterations through manipulation and re-enforced learning. I won’t disgust you with the details.”
“I have hair and nails that have a structure never seen known to man,” I explain, “How come I was awarded that?”
“They have redundant qualities added into their DNA when they were formulated for weapons. That was your original designs, but I tweaked it to fit my own… plan. Strength,” he points to ‘two’, with the black hair, “Precision,” he nods to the blonde and then finally the light blue haired girl, “Power.”
“Intelligence?” I ask, pointing at me.
“No, dear, you are the Ultimate. Which is why you were stolen,” Lumen tilts his head, “You were given more superior leading abilities.”
I lick my lips and can’t help but take a quick glance over my shoulder to glance at Dale, just to rub that in. He was looking impressed but at my sly glance, he narrows his eyes.
“So we were born to be better than STRIKE?” I ask, curious.
“That would be just sexist, considering they are all male and you are all female,” Lumen smirks, “You four, were born to be sex toys. To satisfy STRIKE.”
Well, wasn’t that a contradictory, stupid statement. I try not to punch him in the face, even if he designed us so… he made it sound like our uses besides ultimate sex fantasies were pointless.
“What do you want from us, Lumen?” I ask as he turns to me and runs a tired hand through his grey streaked brown hair.
“To escape,” Lumen tilts his head, looking at me with a puzzling expression. I can’t work it out.
“What do you mean –?” I stop as he walks past me, picking up his pace.
“I don’t want you here,” Lumen explains as he reaches for the door, turning one last time to glance back at me again, “I want you all back on the street. I can’t let you out, or the government will try harder to take my head. So, you have to escape and make it look like an escape. If something stops you – use ‘three’ as a last resort,” he nods to the blue haired girl, before pausing and deciding to answer, “And, did you know, Dale... my son... has leopard DNA?” Lumen asks, waiting for my answer.
“Uh... really?” I ask, pretending to be oblivious.
“It’s your choice what you do, dear. Once I leave this room. Will you be his kitten… or be a queen?” Lumen’s random question has me furrowing my brows as he finally steps out and shuts the door.
I hear a lock.
I glance at the light blue headed girl.
A last resort? What did he mean?
A few seconds pass where Lumen is gone and I am left alone with ‘two’, ‘three’ and ‘four’.
And my beasts are still caged.
I turn around, glancing at Dale.
“Ready to escape?” I ask him.
Dale just raises a brow at me.
“Lumen never makes it that easy, doll,” Dale answers.
Serge snarls, too, catching my attention, “He is the master of mind-games, Alyssa, don’t believe a word he says. Don’t turn your back on those dolls, either, or they might stab you in the back… literally.”
I turn back to them but they are where they were, standing against the wall, just awaiting instructions. I have no doubt they probably don’t understand what we are even talking about.
“Firstly, everyone calm down,” I glare at the beasts and cross my arms over my chest to give them condescending looks, “We’re escaping. Okay? But, first things first… I need to give the dolls coming with us, proper names.”
“They’re not coming with us,” Dale quickly retorts and this shouldn’t make me feel so happy but it does.
Never the less, I wasn’t going to leave them here.
“You can stay here or leave with us,” I growl back at Dale, again, strangely protective of the socially inept girls behind me, “I’m going to cut the glass and get you out of there, but you have to agree to take these dolls with us.”
Dale rolls his eyes and Ace raises a hand, winking.
“One condition,” Ace speaks up, “I get to name them.”
“Um, no way, they’re mine,” I snap back at him, again, weirdly possessive of the three behind me. Ace shrugs his shoulders and puts his hands up in surrender. I give a final glance at Jose, “I don’t suppose you have anything to add?”
“Nope, just get me out of here so I can break some necks – uh, not those necks, doll, people out there,” Jose quickly changes tactic to not upset me and I smile, satisfied.
I’m about to turn to the girls but Dale interrupts.
“There is one condition and you will listen, kitten,” Dale adds, deadly calm, “You will follow orders. They will follow orders. You will tell them to follow my command. I lead or we aren’t coming with you, kitten.”
The only thing that infuriates me, from what he just said, is that he just threatened to leave me.
What an asshole.
“The dolls follow me,” I snap back at him, while pointing to the girls, “Don’t forget, Dale... I follow you. So, if you have a command, tell me and I’ll tell them. Is that good enough to satisfy you... King of the Shadows?”
Dale smirks and nods, amused by my frustration but content with my answer.
I glare at him a moment longer and turn to the three girls.
“You’re all separate identities, would you like to give yourselves names?” I ask them.
“Identity?” the blonde tilts her head, baffled, “Is pussy a name?”
“Okay, no, nope,” I put up my hand, while I hear the beasts behind me, trying hard to keep in their laughter, “From now on, ‘three’, you’re Strawberry... ‘two’, you’re Raven...‘four’… you’re… Blue… okay?” I nod at each and they all nod back, “Tell me your names.”
They might know nothing outside their limited set of skills of what they were forced to learn.
But at least they were fast learners.
~EXTRA BONUS CONTENT BELOW~
Timeline for Frankincense City [Apocalypse – Present]
2059 - Apocalypse of Spanky Dust [SD] created by Howl Inc. in Black Lair Bunker in FC [former name of the actual city unknown]. ‘World-ended’ by Spanky Dust [SD].
Horror stories of ghost sky scrapers begin as infection spreads. Mountains of the Dead appear.
85% of the world’s population killed. 15% survive.
_one year later
2060 – Black Lair Bunker [private property of Howl Inc, never government owned] abandoned, details lost, files erased, location secret after apocalypse.
Black Lair, although specific location labelled as unknown, it is known to be somewhere in FC, housing nuclear weapons and Spanky Dust missiles.
Frankincense City becomes the last Old World not to be targeted by the New World which are two cities full of pure humans, not touched by Spanky Dust on Earth. They don’t want to accidentally set off an unknown number nuclear weapons and SD missiles that could eventually infect the last New World cities.
_one year later
2061 - Frankincense City controlled by the two New World cities who have destroyed/razed every mutated city in the world. It’s a threat for FC not to strike out with their missiles.
New World takes control as the governing body of Frankincense City.
_five years later
2066 – first vaccine created by the government [the government is the rule of the New World] to try and cure the mutations in FC.
_five years later
2071 – second vaccine [Blue Purity]. Cures cancer but not permanent mutations. Less disease. Helps residents of FC to get back on their feet, only using what materials they are allowed inside the restricted walls of FC.
_fifty-eight years later
2129 – creation of DynaPrism funded by LumenCorp [by Gary Lumen Howl and other descendants of Howl Inc]. Located in FC as people have now found their feet and Blue Purity continues to improve residents.
Frankincense City starts to develop technology slowly over time to defend their altered population of ‘Frankinstines’, aka mutated humans.
First trial/generation of1000 other altered humans with Ultimate factor genes. To test what helped humans survive Spanky Dust. These experiments become the Misfits who rebel against the vaccines presently  because the new, shitty, vaccines don’t work on their altered DNA and just make them sick.
_one year later
2130 Dale Howl [brother] first failed trial for the Ultimate human weapon, created by DynaPrism in FC.
Serge created by DynaPrism in FC.
The 1000 First trial/generation of 1000 Ultimate factor genes are handed out to rich families to live normal lives after being observationally studied for 6-12 months.
Blue Purity abandoned by the New World as FC becomes too powerful.
Third alternate vaccine introduced.
_one year later
2131 Dale Howl [brother] died of SIDS
_one year later
2132 Dale jnr. Howl [Ultimate] created by DynaPrism along with remaining members of STRIKE, Jose and Ace. STRIKE was a side, super secretive government operation to create the first human weapons. Serge is allowed to become apart of the team.
The secret re-established supplies of Blue Purity re-created by DynaPrism after it was discontinued by the introduction of the harmful third vaccine by the New World.
Tensions rise between the three last cities of the world.
_eight years later
2141 Alyssa O’Brien created by DynaPrism. Apart of the Second Test-Trials for Superior Military Weapons to succeed STRIKE [4 experiments].
1000 more Ultimate factor gene trials by DynaPrism [second trial/generation of research]
_one year later
2142 Alyssa O’Brien stolen by doctors to live a normal life.
She is released along with the 1000 second trial test-tube babies.
_ten years later
2151 STRIKE escape DynaPrism [aged 18, & 20]
STRIKE find a refuge in the lost Black Lair Bunker.
Gang of Shadows start to establish.
_two years later
2153 – Dale creates a Revised Blue Purity and puts them in missiles. Use, unknown [mystery].
_five years later
2158 – fourth vaccine issued out. More complications such as nausea, cloudy thinking, sometimes death.
Gang of Shadows multiplying in numbers, trying to find fellow Misfits who are increasingly hating the vaccines reactions and side effects.
_one year later
2159 – PRESENT DAY. Fifth Vaccine, heavily addictive and DNA altering. Dangerous. Introduced but hasn’t been handed out due to Gang of Shadows plan of demise of the warehouse storing the supplies.
New World government control of FC do not touch STRIKE as they know they have the Black Lair missiles in their possession.
Currently five generations [100 years] since apocalypse. One generation is twenty years.
Birthdays and ages presently for the year 2159:
Age. 27 Dale Howl, year of birth, 2132
Age. 27 Jose, year of birth, 2132
Age. 29 Serge, year of birth, 2130 [hence scars on his face from more experimentation, and always angry and short-tempered]
Age. 27 Ace, year of birth, 2132
Age. 18 Alyssa O’Brien, 2141
Age. 29 _ Original First Misfits [Ultimate factor DNA] 1000 in FC, 2130
Age. 18 Second Generation Misfits [Ultimate factor DNA refined] 1000 in FC, 2141
Age. 18 Second Squad [Weapons Turned into Dolls], 2141
Summary of the Vaccines:
First failed, year introduced 2066
Second BLUE PURITY, year introduced 2071
Third vaccine as punishment in response to DynaPrism’s increasing power and creation of Serge, year introduced 2130
Fourth vaccine as an even worse punishment with introduced slight mind control, year introduced 2158
Fifth vaccine, addictive and dangerous, year introduced 2159