Chapter 27: Ethan
I find myself in a black abyss. Standing still. There is nothing all around but dark and more dark. I can’t recall how I got here. But at the same time there’s a tremendous sense of dread washing over me.
My heart starts to race. I feel the panic coming on as my breath starts to quicken. Its then that a white light floods the area.
The blackness washes away as the area turns to white. A door appears before me. As white as the rest of the room. It’s decorated in gold accents.
As I stare, I get the sensation that the door is calling to me. It’s a soothing feeling, as if everything will be okay so long as I enter the door. I begin to step towards it, not fighting the urge that I have. As I get closer, I reach for the door knob. My fingers come inches to touching it before a grotesque hand snatches me by the wrist.
My eyes follow the arm until they meet the gaze of her black, cold eyes.
She giggles “You aren’t done yet. Be careful not to let it happen again. This is your one free life,” she says before the room suddenly turns back to darkness.
In an instant I’m thrown away, moving faster than anything I’ve ever experienced before my body slams hard into something solid. I return to consciousness, starting with a sharp gasp. I move on to my hands and knees, vomiting blood on to the floor. Breathing heavy, I nearly collapse back against the large metal box in which I was placed.
I look down at my vest, seeing the blood-soaked holes in it. Panic takes over and I scramble to pull it off, fidgeting with the buckles. A wave of relief falls over me as the last one unclasps and I toss it across the docking bay. I claw open my blouse and begin to run my hands over my shirt. Feeling the holes, I pull my shirt up and rub my hands over my skin. I feel nothing, causing me to inspect myself with my eyes.
“Wh…what the fuck?” I say out loud as I stare at the invisible wounds I was sure I had.
I slump down, sweat dripping down my brow as I attempt to catch my breath.
I died. I know I did.
I can remember the sound of the gun shots. The hot burn as the bullets entered my chest. My body struggling to keep me alive as blood flooded into my lungs. How…how am I still here?
I hear that terrifying giggle. My eyes snap to their source. I see the glint of the light off her black, dead eyes. She steps out of the shadows slowly, inching towards me. I feel the same panic as before set in as my eyes lock with hers. I sit there, frozen in place as she approaches me, a smile growing on her lips.
“What…do you want from me?” I manage to choke out.
She chuckles “Everything. All of you, silly,” she answers, a childlike voice disguising a monster beneath.
She reaches a hand out, sliding a finger down the side of my face.
“There are unwelcome guests,” she points out, triggering the realization in my mind.
I sit up quickly “Dante…Damien…Elena…” I say out loud.
She giggles again, drawing her face close to mine “I’ll help you get rid of them,” she offers before giving me a peck on the cheek.
She backs away, fading into the darkness, maintaining that evil grin.
A sudden sensation starts to flood through me. It feels like my blood is rolling to a boil. I can hear my heart pounding in my ears so loudly that it drowns out all other sounds. My muscles convulse, forcing me to heave forward. I curl into a ball on my hands and knees as I feel an insurmountable rage flow into my thoughts. I let loose the loudest scream I could possibly muster, attempting to ease the pain of this curse that is taking over. I slam my fists into the metal floor, denting it further down with each strike.
As the pain subsides, I’m left with only the anger. The hate. The rage. All of it is focused on one single thing. The Intruders. Destroy them all.
My blood feels thick in my veins as my heart churns it like a sludge through me. I stand up slowly, clenching my hands into fists so hard that my arms tremble.
I begin my hunt.
I travel faster and quieter than I ever have before, the hallways turning into nothing but a dark blur as my vision tunnels. I come to a sudden stop at an intersection of pathways. I look to each direction. Feeling…sensing.
As I turn my head to the left, I come face to face with one of the mutants. We stare into each other’s eyes. It snarls, baring its teeth. A seam going from forehead to chin twitches open, revealing more rows of serrated fangs. I can feel the creature studying me, no…it’s like I can understand its thoughts about me.
These things actually think.
It doesn’t matter I think to myself as I snatch it by the throat, lifting it into the air.
The feeling of being able to so effortlessly dispatch them is liberating. All this hate and anger I’ve had built up is now able to be let loose in any fashion I desire. I squeeze tightly, crushing the mutant’s neck as if it were an aluminum can until is finally explodes under the pressure, covering me in black gore.
Its body falls to the floor, twitching as its head jettisons to somewhere unseen with a dull thud.
I notice my vision change to accommodate the darkness, making the few lights brighter, illuminating the area more. I instinctively cast out a focused beam of thought, trying to feel out my prey. A twinge of something touches at my mind.
A smile forms at the corner of my mouth as I find my first victim. I prowl the halls until I reach one of the storerooms on the station. Inside is the source of my previous demise. The large muscular woman, Tetra, who put half a magazine into my chest.
The temptation to rip through the door is almost too great as the sight of her fills me to the brim with killing intent. I decide instead to duck low and shift to the electrical panel beneath the door’s locking mechanism. I pull it off as easily as if I were tearing a piece of paper in half. I take a handful of wires and tear them out, eliciting some sparks and disengaging the lock entirely. The door slides open to a crack.
I peer in and notice her looking back. I can tell she has no idea I’m even here behind the backdrop of darkness. As she turns around, I slowly slide the door open and crawl inside in a fashion that likens me more to that of the mutants than a man.
I creep behind a set of crates as Tetra turns around again, obviously feeling the hair on her neck stand up. She returns to her inventorying of a box of stores. I slowly crawl towards her, carefully moving to a standing position as come to a stop just a few feet from her. Tetra stops what she’s doing and stands straight up. She knows I’m behind her.
I can her the subtle movement of her hands tightening around her weapon. She whips around pointing the barrel directly into my face.
Her expression turns to that of shock “I…I killed you,”
I smile wide before taking hold of her gun barrel and bending it upwards. I allow Tetra time to react as she stares in disbelief for a few moments.
She looks at her gun barrel, then back at me. She throws it to the floor and draws a large knife from its sheathe. She thrusts it forward towards me.
My agility makes it seem as if she is living in slow motion as I lift a hand, allowing the blade to pierce through it until it stops at the cross-guard. I clench her hand into mine, maintaining an iron grip. I can see her grimace in pain as she watches helplessly. I jerk her wrist to the right, snapping it in half with an audible pop.
She falls to her knees, holding her hand against her chest with the other. Tetra watches as I take hold of her blade and remove it from my hand, dropping it to the floor in front of her. The pain is barely a sting to me as I stare through the fissure that was left behind. I watch as it steadily closes up, leaving unflawed flesh.
She stands up quickly, grabbing me by the throat, forcing me backwards. She slams me every which way against various object thought out the room before putting me against a wall on the far side. She lifts me up, using the wall as leverage, tightening her grip on my neck.
I can see the sense of victory in her eyes as I don’t struggle, allowing her to have her fun. It’s not long before I can’t help but let out a laugh at the futility of her efforts.
Her face turns to visible confusion as she fails to comprehend her situation. I feel her grip loosen on my throat. I take hold of her other wrist, wrapping my legs around her unnaturally large arm and twist my body. My strength is so great her entire arm twists with me, crunching and cracking everywhere, creating enough force to tear her skin open.
She screams as she stumbles backwards, falling on to her back side.
I drop to the floor on all fours, quickly getting to my feet.
I see tears fall from her face. I’m unsure whether it’s from her fear or her pain.
I creep closer to her, kneeling so I’m only inches from her face. At this point she’s resigned herself to her fate. I place one hand behind Tetra’s head. I use my other hand to punch her in the stomach. She gasps as the wind is knocked out of her. Her armor crumbles beneath my fist. A smile grows on my face once again as I strike her a second time. This time, I feel the soft warmth of her insides.
She coughs, blood starts to fall from her mouth. I force my hand through her body until it reaches my intended target. I take hold of her spine, causing her to cry out in agony. I stare into her eyes as I twist and pull, a muffled but sickening pop resonating as I separate the column and pull out through her stomach. Her body immediately goes limp. I watch as the light fades from her, her pupils dilating.
An intense feeling of satisfaction falls over me. I let go of her body, letting it fall lifeless to the floor.
I allow myself to waste no time, charging out of the room to my next victim. This time my senses are easier to tap into as I follow the invisible trail. It leads me to a control room located in an isolated corridor of this particular level.
I choose to go through the ventilation this time as I notice the door has been locked and breach proofed. I creep through the shaft until I reach the proper vent cover, staring down at her from above.
I quietly and swiftly open the cover, slowly dropping myself down behind her. She’s still tapping away on her keyboard. I lean forward until I’m level with her head, bringing myself as close as possible to her left ear.
“Whatcha working on?” I ask suddenly, prompting her to yelp and roll her chair away from me.
I stand and face her, noticing that her face is already filled with terror.
“P-p-p-please…don’t hurt me. He made me do it,” she begs, rolling her chair until she hits a wall.
Her body starts to tremble as I approach her. She whimpers as my face grows close to hers.
I smile “Guilt by association is a hell of a thing,” I say before plunging a knifed hand into her chest, easily separating her sternum and taking hold of her beating heart.
The pain is so great that it stuns her ability to breathe. She places a hand on my face, fruitlessly attempting to push me away all while flailing her legs. I squeeze hard, all at once causing her body to cease its movements.
I slowly pull my hand from her chest cavity, savoring the feeling. I stare at my hand as the excess blood runs down my fingers. There’s a slight urge to taste it in the back of my mind. It’s then that the final scent of my last two victims twinges at my senses.
I shake off the urge and pursue the trail. It leads me back to the Security Center. I look into the window on the door, watching on as they violate the sacred space of our safe haven.
My fingers claw at the door, shearing slivers of metal off the surface. I see Thomas snap his head towards my direction. He eyes the door for moment, not noticing my gaze upon him. I watch his lips move, saying unknown words before he takes a walk to the storeroom housing our firearms.
I notice Aiden watching Thomas carefully, as if he’s waiting for an opportunity. I watch him bend down, unable to see what’s in front of him. He’s pulls something…no…someone from the floor. It’s…Elena…no…Lauren. My thoughts turn to the type of person she is. Maybe it would be easier just to let him deal with her now, so I won’t have to later.
My thoughts are interrupted by the overwhelming burning of anger within me. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing. That isn’t the point.
He just needs to die, die, die!
I slam my hand against the door panel, breaking it and forcing the door open. I rush towards Aiden. He doesn’t even know I’m there before I drive my fist through his back and out the other side of his body.
Aiden ceases his movements, looking down at my hand now impaling him. He turns his head towards me, eyes wide and bloodshot. I yank my arm from his torso, forcing him to stumble forward, as he attempts to keep his insides from spilling out of the cavern I’ve created in his stomach.
I notice everyone staring at me in shock, tied up on the floor. Lauren steps back, her face telling that she’s unable to comprehend the act I’ve just committed.
I snatch Aiden by the shoulder and the back of his neck, kicking him as hard as I can in the back of his knee. He squeals in pain as his joint is completely separated.
As he drops down to his last good leg, I grasp him at the right shoulder, placing my other hand on his neck at the same side. I press my fingers in his flesh so hard it breaks the skin. I then pull in opposite directions, tearing his body very nearly in half as the disgusting cacophony of meat tearing and bones separating reverberates through the room. Sanguine fluid sprays in all directions, covering every person in the vicinity, most of all myself.
The sounds heard from Aiden are that of a few psychopathic giggles as his body crumbles to the ground.
I look up from my work to see the faces of people who realize they don’t know who I am anymore.
“Jesus…Christ,” Thomas’s voice sounds from the entrance of the armory.
I immediately ensnare him in my grasp, clutching his wrist as he attempts to draw his pistol and grabbing him by the throat, slamming him ferociously against the door of the armory.
Thomas cries out as his back collides with the solid metal.
“You…you’re the reason for all of this,” I say through gnashed teeth.
“Let me go…you crazy son of a bitch,” Thomas demands.
“I told you this wasn’t going to go how you wanted. And now…I’m going to squeeze your neck until your head pops off like a bottle rocket,” I elaborate as my grip tightens around his throat.
“Wait…wait…I can help you…” He begins to plead.
“Thomas…Blaze…I know that name…” Lauren says as the realization pulls her from her astonishment of the previous events.
“Ethan…Ethan you have to let him go…he’s the only one that can help me cure you,”
“I don’t care!” I exclaim as I look back at her with wild eyes.
I turn my attention back to Thomas “I don’t want to be cured…I just want to see his blood…everywhere,”
I start to squeeze harder, seeking to bring my hunt to its conclusion.
I look down as I feel a pair of arms wrap around me. I feel the warmth of someone pressing themselves against me.
I hear sobbing “Stop, Ethan…just please…stop this,” Elena’s voice resonates through me.
I try hard to hold on to the anger. I want so much to kill this man. This insufferable human being who’s done nothing but prey on the weak for his own gain with a pack of hyenas.
As much as I want to crush his throat, I can’t help but feel all of the fury slip away from me. As it all fades and I feel myself return I release Thomas.
He falls to the floor and begins to cough and gag. A sudden weakness comes over me and I fall backwards into Elena’s arms. She lowers me to the floor as gently as she can, cradling my head in her lap.
My vision starts to blur as I stare into Elena’s green eyes.
I reach a hand up, placing it on her face.
“Forgive me…” I say as I lose consciousness.