Chapter 3: Damien
I’m awakened by the cold rush of water splashing on my body. I snap awake in a rage, attempting to break free from the binds that hold me in my chair.
“That won’t do you much good,” a human voice speaks from the corner.
I snap my head to the source and see a tall man, built like a freight train, leaning against the far wall.
“The hell is this?” I ask.
“What’s it look like?” He responds snidely.
The door opens, taking my attention from the man in the corner. In steps a very familiar face.
“Hello, bigger Blake,” He says.
“Should’ve known this was your handy work Rin’Gal,”
Rin’Gal bends down so that he’s eye to eye to me, the neon green in his flickers.
“I told you I would get you for what you did on Crimea,” He says with a sly smile.
I narrow my eyes at him before placing a surprise headbutt into his face, causing him to flinch backwards. He holds his face in his hands, grunting away the pain. He settles and stares at me with anger in his eyes. I notice a line of lambent blue trails down from his mouth.
“I hate you. You and your brother both,”
“I guess we just have that effect on people we don’t like, Rin’Gal,”
“I’m going to fix you. I’m going to make sure you aren’t the same if you ever happen to return to your brother,”
“There’s no if,”
“Then I hope he likes what you have become,”
Rin’Gal turns to the man in the corner.
“Do what you wish. Just do not kill him,”
“I’m a doctor. I think I know how to keep him alive,” The man says with a smile.
Rin’Gal exits without another word, leaving me and the man alone together. I finally notice the suitcase by his side, placed in the center of a table that’s against the same wall in which he’s leaning. He moves to the table and opens the case.
“Let me introduce myself. My name…”
He takes out a pair of black leather gloves.
“Is Dr. Peter Hall,” He finishes.
“That supposed to mean something to me?” I ask.
“Not at all. I simply like to get acquainted with my subjects before I begin working,”
“Well you might as well start asking your questions, doc. I’m not one for pleasantries,” I say, impatient.
Peter looks at me with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh no. There’s no questions here today. Rin’Gal knows you won’t give anything up. I’m just here to…mold you into something different,” He explains as he steps in front of my chair.
I look up at him in defiance.
“This is going to hurt,” He points out.
“Good thing I’m a glutton for punishment,” I reply in confidence.
Peter clenches a fist and brings it back. I watch helplessly as he hooks it into my face, snapping my head to the right. I feel the metallic of blood in my mouth.
I spit the blood on the floor “Gonna have to do better than that, doc. Children have hurt me worse than that,” I antagonize.
Peter proceeds to unleash a flurry of blows across my body and face. By the time he’s done, my body aches and my face throbs. The blood from my mouth has now become a constant stream pooling on the floor between my feet.
Peter takes this time to collect himself and rest. He lifts a bottle of water from the table and begins to drink. He takes a few large gulps and then studies the bottle.
He looks at me and then back at the bottle.
“Oh, where’s my manners? You want some?”
I chuckle “You’re a…bastard…you know that?” I say between pangs of pain.
“Hey, don’t thank me, thank your recruiter,”
“There’s…something I’m missing here, doc. Wha…what are you getting out of this? I mean…if you lose this thing, you die. If you win this thing…they’ll probably kill you anyway,” I deduce to Peter as he continues to sip his water.
“Don’t worry about me, Damien. I have contingencies in place,”
“Seriously though…what’s your story, doc?” I ask honestly.
Peter can’t help but laugh at me.
“I’ve beaten you bloody, black, and blue…and you want to know my story?” He asks bewildered.
“Alright…I’ll oblige you, Damien,”
Peter sets his bottle down, grabbing a chair and slides it in front of me.
I give a false smile “Now we’re getting somewhere, doc,”
The pain at this point is nearly unbearable. The thought of moving makes my body hurt, but I manage to bring myself into an upright position so that I’m able to look Peter in the eyes.
“I’ll give you an abridged version. I used to be an officer in the UEDF,”
“You’re a Doctor, so that’s obvious,”
Peter scoffs “Right, obvious. I learned some time ago that the UEDF thinks it can do what ever it wants without recompense,”
“But why not just leave. Go somewhere far away?”
Peter narrows his eyes at me “You’re stalling, Damien,”
“No shit, doc. Anyone with half a brain could guess that,”
“Stalling for what?” Peter questions.
I give him a genuine smile this time whilst raising my now free hands.
Peter’s eyes grow wide “Odds are even now, doc,” I say, balling a fist and placing it squarely in his cheek with an audible thud.
Peter falls out of the chair on to the floor, holding his face. I stand up and place another hard kick into his stomach, causing him to scrunch into a ball. I fish around Peter’s pockets and find his keycard, my way out.
“You know, doc. I actually kind of like you. You don’t hit like a bitch. And you don’t try to explain away who you are. I respect that,”
Peter lifts himself on to his hands and knees, still catching his breath.
“Don’t be too embarrassed, I kill Sekrid for a living. And while you might be as big as one, you’re still just a human. And it’s time for you to go to sleep for a while,” I say before placing a well-aimed boot in Peter’s face, knocking him on his back and seemingly unconscious.
I swipe the keycard across the door pad, immediately yanking the Sekrid standing guard outside. Grabbing his jaw and the top of his head, I yank in opposite directions, snapping his neck.
I forgo the weight of his rifle and confiscate the pistol from its holster.
“Please, please, please,” I say as I twist end of the barrel, causing a cylinder to jut out from the barrel’s opening.
“Yes. I gotta forward this tech on to my people,”
I reopen the door, looking both ways before exiting. I take a crouched position as I proceed forward, keeping my steps as quiet as possible. The complex feels like a labyrinth as I traverse through it with no sense of direction. I become more anxious with each corner I turn that reveals no exit.
My surroundings finally change when I enter through a door that leads me to a large training area. I instinctively duck behind a stack of crates I front. I sit up so that just my eyes are peering over the crates. I observe a swarm of Sekrid, performing various drills and exercises.
I trail my eyes left and notice two sets of doors, one of them seemingly leading to the outside. A small smile forms at the corner of my mouth and I begin to work my way around to it. I skirt the perimeter of the preoccupied Sekrid, moving from cover to cover. I reach the closest cover to the door, my hands shaking in anticipation.
As I step out to from my hiding place to exit the complex, I notice the door open. I feel my heart start to pound as I look for a hiding place, locking my sights on the door next to the exit. I hurriedly move to the door and swipe the keycard across the pad, blindly hoping.
The lock clicks open, and I nearly fall into the doorway as it slides open and then back closed. I rest my head on the floor, closing my eyes and breathing a sigh of relief. I sit up and look around the room.
“Holy shit…” I say to myself as I realize the room is the facility’s armory.
An idea forms in my head, and I start to walk the rows upon rows of weaponry until my eyes set on my goal. I lift one of the explosive charges from the shelf, A wide smile forming on my lips.
With the copious amounts of ammo, grenades, and charges in this armory, it’s more than enough blasting power to blow this complex to smithereens. I take a few charges, setting them around the room in key places, setting them all for the same amount of time.
I return to the armory door, satisfied with my placement of the charges, a remote in my hand in order to start the timer from afar.
As I open the door, two hands clutch on to my shirt and lift me off the floor, tossing me across the room. I hit the ground hard and slide in to a crate of weapons at the far end. The door slides back shut, causing the shadow to fade and Peter’s face to be revealed.
There’s clear rage in his eyes as blood trickles down his left temple from my previous strike. He turns and smashes the door pad with a bare fist, causing the door to lock behind him. I stand up and work my neck out, easing the pain that shoots through it.
“I’m going to beat you within an inch of your life. Then we’re going to go back to that room and finish what we started,” He says to me.
I chuckle “You really have a hard on for this torture stuff, don’t you, doc?” I joke.
Peter remains still and focused. I take it as my queue to ready myself.
I sucker punched the doc last time. Caught him off guard. That’s not going to happen again. And while I’m not small by any means, Peter is in another weight class. There’s no way I can take him one on one if he’s as skilled as I am in hand to hand.
Which he is.
My body hurts…bad.
I’m not a hundred percent, which means he’s going to kick my ass. Probably would even if I wasn’t hurting.
Peter begins to step towards me, and it’s then that I pull the pistol from my back and point it at Peter, sighting in his head.
Peter narrows his eyes “Now that’s not fair,”
“Not feeling much like being fair today, doc. I already know you’d kick the shit out of me. I can’t let that happen,”
“You’re missing something here though, Damien,”
“Sekrid sidearms are bio-locked so that it can never be used against the user,” He explains with a smirk.
I look at the gun, the reality of the situation setting in.
“Should’ve taken the god damn rifle,” I say as I toss the pistol at Peter’s face.
As he blocks, I stash the detonator and charge him. The pistol bounces off his forearms as I attempt to tackle him low.
It feels like my shoulder is hitting a brick wall however, as Peter barely moves a few inches.
“Shit,” I say with a grunt.
I feel Peter snatch me up and toss me into one of the various shelves. There’s a bolt of pain in my back, even more pain as the various pieces of equipment fall down over top me. I stand up once more and square off with Peter. He lifts his hands as well, taking a boxer’s stance.
I take a swing. I’m slow.
He dodges and places a fist in my ribs. I feel something shift, bringing more pain. The pain that was already there now aggravated once more. It becomes hard to hold my right arm up as the pain in my right side radiates with every breath.
I throw a desperate straight punch, Peter dodges again. This time, he steps in, taking the opportunity to wail on me. He strikes me another two times in the body and then places a hook in my left cheek. I stumble backwards, shaking my head to keep my consciousness.
I try to keep my arms up, but it takes all of my focus. I know my body is done, it’s all just a show now.
Peter steps closer to me. He studies me for a moment and then places an aimed boot into my chest, causing me to jettison backwards, colliding once again with the crates at the back of the room.
Sure of my defeat, Peter turns back to the door and begins walking towards a small intercom unit on the right side. I take the last opportunity I have, while I’m still conscious to, to take the detonator out of my pocket and stuff it in to a hidden pocket on the inside of my pants, reserved for times like these.
“Damien Blake escaped my custody. I apprehended him in the armory. I need someone to come open the door,” I hear him say in his original demeanor.
I can no longer fight my body at this point and unwillingly fall unconscious.
I’m shocked awake the same way I was before. I simply lift my head this time, no energy left in my body to have surprise. The Sekrid who performed the act sets the bucket down and leaves the room.
“I will admit, I had trouble believing the infamy that is the Blake family. But now I see that you are just as frustrating as Rin’Gal described,” Peter says, standing over his open briefcase.
I’m back in the same room with everything in the same place like some sick Groundhog Day.
Peter returns his leather gloves on to his hands and reaches into his case. He pulls out something metallic and steps over to me. It’s then that I can look at his hand and see that what he holds is an old-fashioned scalpel.
“Looking to do some surgery on me, doc?”
“In a sense,” Peter replies as he steps around behind me.
I feel my shirt pull tight and then fall loose as Peter slices it with ease, revealing my bare back.
“You did say my punches didn’t hurt much, didn’t you?”
I let out a pained laugh “Yeah…I did,”
“Well let’s try something new, shall we?” Peter says as he touches the blade to my skin.
The white-hot sears though my nerves as he the blade separates flesh.