Chapter 1

Posted on February 15 2016

A loud piercing siren filled the air on the 1st floor of the laboratory. Victor only knew of the sound because the maintenance workers tested it monthly. He hated it but this time the siren followed a loud explosion that shook the entire second floor of the facility. The only thing adjacent to the second floor was the housing quarters for all the personnel. Before he could react, everything surrounding him went black.

Before the loud explosion, a robotic woman’s voice came over the intercom. “Self destruct mode initiated, all personnel please evacuate to the first floor. The blast doors will be closing in 5 minutes.” It repeated as usual and counted down the time before the first floor blast doors would shut and lock. After this happened, there would be no way to escape the facility. So he and the other handful of scientist on the second floor proceeded to the first floor. After passing through the blast doors, Victor took a seat as he normally did in the reception area. He flipped on the TV and began watching whatever was on. “The blast doors are now closing. All personnel please stay on the first floor and wait for the evacuation team to arrive.” A loud mechanical clank and the blast doors began closing. All this was pretty much routine for the monthly test. Nothing was any different than before.

Victor didn’t know the real reason why it was so important for a drug research facility to have a self destruct sequence. He figured it was because of Alik. Alik was so over protective of all the research the corporation was doing and had extra precautions to protect the data collected. Seriously, the base was located in Antarctica and had a simple, yet effective security system in place. The facility only had four floors with living and dining quarters located on the 2nd floor. Victor worked on the 2nd floor and only had access the first and second floor. This is how the security was set up. The floor the scientist worked on was the last floor he had access to. So a scientist working on the 4th floor has a code clearance of four. He had access to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors. Victor only had access to the 1st and 2nd floors. He had no knowledge of what was being researched on the lower floors; he figured it was just more complex experiments or live animal testing. Most of the work Victor did was started on the lower floors and sent up to the 2nd floor to be finished. He was one of the scientist that helped finished the research to kill the virus that created herpes in the human body. But that work started on the lower floors. Most of the work he saw was completely unbelievable. He didn’t understand how the lower level researchers were coming up with these ideas in the first place. Even when the scientist dined together in the dining hall, they never spoke about their work. Nobody never really knew why, they hadn’t been told they couldn’t. Victor just figured that maybe all of them just wanted to separate themselves from work as much as possible, since they lived at the facility. Everyone had their own room within the living quarters. Total staff for the facility was probably around a 100. Most of them where scientist, while the remaining few where various maintenance, janitors, and clerk personnel.  It was rumored that Alik worked on the 4th floor and had his own living quarters down there. Victor never really saw him in person other than the large flat screen projectors on the walls throughout the facility. A video of him would loop talking about the corporation and how it was destined to change the world forever. Victor really didn’t believe that but he knew the work they were doing had significant impact on the survivability of the human race. Weird, I don’t see any personnel from the 3rd and 4th floors. The blast doors had already closed and for a monthly drill everyone was supposed to participate; no matter what they were working on. All I see is the people I work with on the 2nd floor. No 1st floor personnel were here either. Did they not hear the intercom? And why is no one at the front desk or in the lounge that work here? That’s when the large blast shook the first floor.

Victor opened his eyes only to see nothing but darkness. His head was pounding and he couldn’t hear a thing. Damn, is this hell? I swear I lived a good life, maybe not to the standards of the bible but who can believe a book that a man wrote? Slowly, Victor’s hearing returned, like someone turning a volume knob up. Beyond the siren over the intercom, he could hear people screaming in pain. Then the siren over took the screams and that’s all he could hear. Still shrouded in complete darkness, Victor tried feeling around him to grab onto something to pull him up. His head felt like a million cymbal monkeys were clanging inside. Then the siren suddenly stopped to be replaced by the robotic woman voice. “Attention all personnel, please stay inside on the first floor. An evacuation unit has been dispatched and will arrive shortly. Emergency power will turn on momentarily.” The pain in Victor’s head subsided for the time being. He could hear nothing but silence now, no more screaming, nothing. A silent hum started and the emergency power kicked on. It was really just two small lights that barely emitted anything close to visible light. Victor looked around him and saw that one of the light fixtures had fallen from the ceiling, must have been what hit him in the head. The reception area was trashed. Tables, chairs, pictures, everything was thrown around the room. It was barely recognizable. Where the hell are my colleges? I can’t be the only one who survived the explosion. Or am I?

Victor looked around as his vision adjusted to the dim lights above. He could now see the reflection of light off some liquid on the floor. He walked over and saw the source it was coming from. Hector lay underneath a shelf that had fallen over on top of him. Blood was pouring out of the man’s skull. In fact, Victor didn’t even recognize the man’s face. He knew it was Hector from the man’s socks that were showing beneath his khaki pants. They were black with white music notes all over it. His daughter had gotten them as a Christmas present; he always showed them off. Victor’s face turned pale and he began dry heaving. Holy fuck! He’s dead… Being a scientist he never saw a dead body before. The smell of the blood made him dry heave more; sweat was pouring down his face. Victor backed away from the body and tried to recollect himself. That’s when he heard a low moan from behind him. He turned to see a man lying on the ground. A pool of blood collected underneath the man’s right leg. As Victor got closer, he noticed a piece of a chair leg protruding from the man’s thigh. “Hey man, are you ok? Answer me!” Victor shakily said. The man moved a little and let out another low moan. Victor knelt before the man’s leg and looked at the injury. He took of his lab coat and tied it around as tight as he could above the injury. This shit always worked in the movies. Not all of Hollywood is fake, right?  Then he looked at the man’s face. Victor didn’t recognize him but saw he had black circles around his eyes.  Jesus that man looks like he went five rounds against Mike Tyson with no arms to defend himself. There has to be a first aid kit around here, somewhere. ”Hey, I’m going to look for a first aid kit in the office. I’ll be right back, hang in there man.” Victor then grabbed the back of a chair and placed it under his head for cushion. The least I can do to make him comfortable before he dies, right? God, Victor you are so pessimistic.

Victor stood up and walked over to the window that viewed into the front desk. Not much damage. Let’s just hope the damn door will open.  He walked to the door and twisted the handle, the door opened. He stepped inside and began going through the drawers on the desk for some type of aid kit. Various papers and office supplies littered the drawers. Nothing useful. He then noticed another door in the office he never noticed before. Light was flickering through the same pane in the door, like a TV was coming in and out of a black and white channel. He tried to open the door but it was locked. Victor remembered seeing a fire axe on the wall in the reception area. He returned with the axe and swung at the small pane. The window shattered and threw glass everywhere but Victor didn’t care. He reached through and unlocked the door. Inside was a small desk with 10 security monitors stacked across the desk. Some of them just flickered black and white speckled screens. I’ve never noticed this security booth here. But it doesn’t surprise me with Alik in charge. I guess the explosion knocked most of the cameras out but three screens are still showing live video. Victor looked at the bottoms of the screen and noticed they were labeled. Only three were working at the time. One was located on the 4th floor and the other two were located on the third floor. It seems the 3rd and 4th floor where untouched by the explosion. Weird, I wonder what part of the facility was destroyed then. All the lights and equipment still work from what I can tell. Then something moved on the screen that caught his attention. A man in a white coat like his stood up from behind a cubical. He was rubbing his head and looking around confused. Then another man appeared in the top corner of the screen. Something was terribly wrong with this individual though. Also, dressed in a white coat but it was soaked in blood. You could barely tell it was white to begin with. The man’s face was horribly disfigured and Victor could see a bone poking through the man’s left leg. But the man was still walking; his face showed no sign of pain. His mouth was hung open with blood pouring out onto his lab coat. He looked completely dead; but was still walking like nothing was wrong with him. The other healthy looking man peered around the cubicle as if the thing was making noise. The man suddenly ran back into the cubicle and tried to hide, crouched in the corner. Apparently, the other man saw him and began walking towards the cubicle. He limped but was slowly making progress. As the thing came into the cubicle, the man crouched in the corner looked as if he was screaming. That’s when Victor saw the thing fall onto the man. Then, a fountain of blood sprayed from the left side of the man’s neck as that thing sunk its teeth into his flesh.

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