-Darkness, where am I? The last thing I remember is Kazuo and Kimiko were… No! That couldn’t have been real it must have been some bad dream.
My attempts to move as useless. It’s almost like I am wraps inside a prison of steel.
-Maybe if I go back to sleep I’ll wake up from this nightmare.
From the left side of my head, I hear a piercing ring. It gets closer and closer.
-A power tool?
As I attempt to make out the sound a drill breaks through my prison letting in light and moist air. The drill manages to barely graze my forehead leading to blood getting into my left eye.
“What the hell!?”
The drill pulls back and I hear a muffled voice coming from the outside.
“Good, you’re alive.”
It sounds like a girl, probably younger than me.
“Stay still if you don’t want to be filled with holes.”
-Does she seriously expect me to trust her after she almost drove a drill into my skull?
“Wait, tell me what happened to my friends?”
Another drill came in but this time from above. It narrowly stopped before touching my eye.
“I’m serious tell me what happened to them!?”
The drill pulls back.
“I couldn’t recover your friend, he was covered in some kind of acid.”
-I do remember him sinking into the ground. Yeah and that’s when this thing wrapped over me.
“And don’t worry he was still alive.”
“And what about Kimiko, the girl that was with us. She has white hair like her brother but her’s is longer at shoulder length and she wears a black high school uniform similar to mine and--.”
“There was no one else there it was only you and your friend.”
-Kimiko was there with us, wasn’t she? We were all walking home together.
“If she was then one minute and then gone the next then it must mean that she’s dead.”
“How can you say that!?”
Another hole is drilled into the side close to my neck.
“I can tell that you'll be a mess to work with.”
“Kimiko was there, I know it!?”
When the drill is pulled back a needle is inserted through that hole.
“What are you doing?”
“Go back to sleep, you’re in too much shock. We’ll talk when you wake up.”
The needle pierces my neck and I can feel as I’m injected with something.
“No, I… I… have more… questions.”
-I can’t keep my eyes open. Damn it, I have to know. I have to know.
I can no longer stay awake. As I drift into unconsciousness the image of Kimiko comes into my mind.
I’m in complete darkness again but this time it feels different.
“I can move.”
As I walk in the abyss I see a small light in front of me.
“What is that?”
As I run towards it, it grows eventually encompassing my entire body.
I cover my eyes from the light but slowly my eyes adjust.
“I know this place, from back then.”
I now find myself in the old junkyard where I used to play as a child. As I investigate my surrounding I hear a familiar voice.
“Tetsuya get down from there! It’s too high, you might get hurt.”
“Kimiko is that you!?”
I rush to where I heard her voice and once I find her in front of a stack of tires I can not believe my eyes. It’s Kimiko but from back when we were 8 years old and besides here is Kazuo from when he was 9.
“Tetsuya you idiot get down here. If you fall I’m not helping you.”
“Come on Kazuo get up here, or are you too scared?”
I look up at the stack of tires and see myself when I was 8.
-What’s going on?
“Kazuo… Kimiko look I’m safe.”
Neither of them responds.
“Come on let's get back.”
They don’t even turn to face me. I walk up to them and I reach out to them my hand goes through their bodies.
“No, you’re right in front of me. Why damn it?”
I fall to my knees in frustration.
“Tetsuya I’ll go with you.”
Kimiko steps towards the tires but Kazuo quickly halts her.
“Whatever, if this is what it will take for you to shut up then I’ll do it.
Kazuo begins to climb reaching where the younger me is standing.
“Be careful both of you.”
The younger me strikes a pose from “Super Ranger”, an old superhero show that we all used to watch.
“Don’t worry about us Kimiko because we are here to protect--”
Kazuo pulls the younger me back.
“I am here to protect you.”
The younger me get back up yelling at Kazuo.
“Hey, what’s the big idea!?”
Kimiko smiles at us.
“And what do you find so funny?”
“It just… or wait watch out!”
The tires become unstable and begin to tumble down.
“I told you that this was a stupid idea, Tetsuya.”
I have to help them!
As I get to my feet to catch my younger self and Kazuo time seems to freeze for everything except myself. When I look around, everything outside our perimeter has become pitch dark. As I turn to Kimiko I see her being overtaken by those creatures from before.
“Don’t touch her!”
When I rush towards Kimiko I hear a muffled voice in the distance.
“Are you going to wake up or I’m I going to have to push you?”
I open my eyes and find myself in some kind of cave with computers and medical equipment all around me.
“Finally you’re awake. It seems I may have overdone it with the dose I gave you.”
I’m surrounded on all sides by iron bars. It’s just barely enough space to spread my arms apart. Past those bars stands a short girl wearing a white lab coat and a gas mask obstructing her entire face.
“It took me forever to get you out of that shell you know? You should really thank me.”
Her voice is the same one that I hears when I was being drilled into.
“It’s you, what do you want and where are my friends.”
The girl puts her hand is her lab coat pockets and leans forward.
“Not in a grateful mood I see.”
“Just tell me what’s going on, I don’t have time to mess around with you when my friends are out there!”
“So you won’t thank me then.”
The girl pulls out a handgun from her right pocket and points it at me.
“If you won’t thank me then I don’t have to ask for permission to do this.”
She aims straight at my chest as I put my hands up.
“Calm down just put the gun--”
Without hesitation, she fires a single shot. The impact drops me to the ground hitting my head on the iron bars.
The pain is so intense that I can’t think clearly for a couple of seconds.
“This confirms my theory, your VSF allows you to grow an armor-like shell.”
Once the main goes down I notice that the bullet didn’t go through me or even inside me. I gaze at my chest and find that the bullet was stopped by the same kind of shell-like the one that was keeping me strapped before. On closer inspection, it seems to be made of a collection of hexagons. This time it’s only in a small part around the bullet.
“What is this?”
The girl hits her gun against the iron bares to get my attention.
“Didn’t you hear me? You can grow armor in order to protect yourself.”
I get up from the ground.
“You could have killed me!”
She unloads her gun revealing the bullets.
“They were just rubber bullets, you were never in any danger.”
“It sure felt like I was!”
“Well, I guess that is you hadn’t materialized that armor when you did, at that distance it could have done some serious damage.”
I attempt to grab the gun from her by extending my arm through the bars but she just steps back out of reach.
“If it will calm you down then I will answer one of your questions how about that.”
“Where are my friends?”
“I knew you would ask that, you see you’re able to make that armor by… wait you we’re still on about that? I already told you I could only take one of you back and that the girl you speak of is probably dead.”
“Now because your asking stupid questions I’ll tell you what you really need to know and if you don’t listen I’ll shoot you again.”
I reluctantly nod my head.
“Those creatures that attacked you, well they are called the GENESIS Virus. They are attracted to any animal because in order to reproduce they must inject their DNA into another. When this happens they began to multiply from within their victim.”
The image of Kimiko being consumed by them come to my mind.
“This process will continue until there is nothing left.”
“That can’t be true! Because if it’s then... Kimiko.”
The girl point the gun at my head.
“I told you to listen.”
I take a step back.
“It seems like you haven’t come to the obvious conclusion. Why are you still alive? As well as your friend with the acid.”
-That’s right we were all attacked but only Kimiko…
“In some rare instances, the host will assimilate with the Genesis Virus DNA and survive the orderal. The Genesis virus is actually composed of various animal’s DNA so when a host assimilates with them they gain traits from that organism. It also comes with a general boost to things like strength and regeneration. Just look at the graze that you had on your forehead.”
I touch my forehead and notice that the cut that she ad given me with the drill is completely gone.
“But you aren’t invincible by any stretch of the imagination. Also, the GENESIS Virus was--”
I grab onto the bars in front of me and use all my might to strech them open.
-I really am stronger.
“Hey stop that!”
She points her gun at me but I manage to take it from her and throw it away from her.
“I don’t care about all those things, I have to find my friends.”
I run past her and into where I think that exit might be.
“Hey, come back!”
The cave seems to stretch out forever but eventually, I see the light of the outside. As I approach it I stop at the entrance because there is nothing else after it but the ocean.
I look up the cliff that this cave is on.
“I can do that.”
I begin to climb up the rocky side. The top is about 10 meters above where I am.
- It looks like it’s morning. Was I out an entire day or more?
Once I make it to the top I can see the town downhill. It’s burning. The place where we grew up was destroyed.
“This can’t be happening, it can’t.”
I hear steps behind me. When I turn around to see that girl again. She seems completely exhausted.
“You’re gaing to… get yourself… killed.”
She recolectes herself.
“The ones responsible for destroying this town, the ones that took you, friends, away, and the ones the developed the GENESIS VIrus. The CELL Corporation.