Monday, July 2, 2012

The Boy Named Nod: The Doctor's Office Part 2

Down In The Lab

Hate tastes like blackcurrant tea, but desperation is rose wine.

I slipped out my .38 and took aim at the nearest Sanitation Suit rising from the ground. A severed hydraulic line. Sparking wires.

However, its twin chainguns continued to spin up.

Mr. Rook snared me by the back of the neck and tossed me onto his shoulder as the suit's guns started firing. The bullets shredded the air and the knees of Mr. Rook suit. Stone chipped as he lumbered forward grabbing the suit by an arm. He swung the Sanitation Suit like a club, smashing three other newly risen suits back into the ground.

I turned and caught sight of Mr. Jonathan. We wove between the spray of bullets coming from a group of three Sanitation Suits. He carved the bullets in half as he slid ever closer to his quarry. As he neared them, he leapt through the air, landing on one of the center suit's right arm.

Drop. Slash. Spin.

Its right arm fell to the ground, severed, as it toppled on a hamstrung leg. Its left arm stitched a line of bullets across the left most suit's chest as it fell. The right most suit emptied its rounds into the center suit as Mr. Jonathan ducked under its fire. He came up against the right most suit, drawing both razors up its front, carving the suit open. A pair of wide eyes stared at him as the suit peeled away. Mr. Jonathan slit the Corp guard's throat and was moving again.

Trevor swung between suits, his back to theirs, using them as cover. Even as they were torn apart by their own comrades, Trevor's twin revolvers roared, punched holes in knees, elbows, chests, and heads. He winked at me as he flipped backwards onto a suit's shoulder, firing down into the helmet of its operator, before racing back into the fray.

The imps stayed close together, working as a team. Charles flung James atop a Sanitation Suit. James buried his knives into the suit, scaling it like climbing a mountain. He flipped over the top and buried a switchblade into its power core. He leapt off and fled as the suit began to spark, erupting, vaporizing its nearest comrades.

Manfred and Whitfield had some of Rebecca's toys dissected, stuffing bombs into them. A teddy bear with two cleavers and a block of plastic explosives strapped to its chest charged into the midst of four suits, chopping apart their legs before being caught in chaingun crossfire. It smiled as Manfred detonated it.

The toy soldiers continued their relentless march across the eastern flank. They maintained formation, filling in the gaps as stray fire tore apart their ranks. Reinforcements lay shortly behind them, manning toy cannons and ambulances. Soldiers with arms for legs and heads on backwards skittered back into the fight, a swarm of spiders taking their bayonets to those within the Sanitation Suits.

A crushing blow from Mr. Rook's right hand drove the last Sanitation Suit still standing through the lab's reinforced doors.

"Nod sir?"

"Yes Mr. Rook?"

"I believe that is the last of them. Do I have time for a spot of tea before we continue? These... shenanigans have left me parched."

I rubbed my eyes, sighing softly.

"I can't make green tea randomly appear in your hand anymore Gregor. That went away when I made you real."

"Curses. Oh well. Inspiration to carry on at a brisk clip. Stiff upper lip and all that."

"Mr. Rook."


"I'm not sure which is worse. The fact that you always have a stiff upper lip or that cliched dialect you speak in."

He shrugged.

"You're the one that made me sir."

Rebecca tried to stifle a giggle. Her toys failed miserably, snickering and giggling in unison. I fired my .38 and took the ear off of a teddy bear. Not a wise idea with the look in its glass eyes, but oh well.

"Enough of that. Let's get a move on."


I never liked hospitals. I liked labs decidedly less. Especially when I knew diseases were being experimented on all around me.

It was quiet in the labs, only the slow steady hum of terminals analyzing data and lab equipment moving in gentle rhythm. Mr. Jonathan was scratching his chin.

"That couldn't have been all of their defenses."

I shook my head in agreement.

"It wasn't. It couldn't have been."

We started talking as a mob. Clattering. Jabbering. The imps were giggling, dancing in circles, pantomiming their battle with the suits. Rebecca voiced her optimism in cotton candy sentences, her toys glaring at anyone who voiced an argument. Mr. Jonathan and Trevor remained adamant that more would come, even as Mr. Rook chastised them for being pessimists.

None of us heard movement.
None of us heard a coffin open.
None of us heard the full moon rise.
None of us heard the darkness coagulate rise.

A voice. Filtering through the loudspeakers. A swamp gas and mouth full of hamburger voice.

"Don't worry. It's not as easy as you feared."

I stood on Mr. Rook's shoulder, eyes fixing on a security camera anchored onto the ceiling.

"Stay out of the way and we won't kill you. We'll escort you out before we destroy the facility."

"What a kind offer. I whish I was that kind. But I'm not. Nor are my... pet projects."

I raised an eyebrow.

"Oh, they'll be nearing you shortly. They're surrounding you even now. Through air ducts mostly."

"What's coming us?"

"The stuff of nightmares dear boy. The West Worthington Corporation has always been a leader in medical technologies. We've lead the charge on treating the latest and most vicious strains of porphyria, congenital hypertrichosis universalis, and the lycanthropy disorder."

I only recognized one word. Lycanthropy.

"You're curing werewolves?"

The voice chuckled from its congested mouth.

"No my boy. We're making them. These poor souls came to us. The porphyria victims came to us, allergic to garlic, sunlight, their blood lacking in vitality. The others were rounded up by police departments and our security forces. They believed themselves dogs and wolves. Just men suffering from hallucinations and the growth of abnormal amounts of hair."

A howl resounded from down the hallway in front of us.

"There they come now. William will be leading the pack. His good friend Hugh will be behind you shortly if he isn't already. He'll be leading the shadows."

"Why would they subject themselves this? Why would they let themselves become monsters?"

"Its all in the treatment dear boy. Just ask them. We're still searching for a cure. And until we find one, they belong to us... unless they'd prefer to go back to be basement dwellers and garbage scavengers. For now, they're altered with enough genetic material and hormones to make them what they most resemble."

"All they resemble to you now is a profit."

The voice giggled, a high-pitched, wet, squeal.

"Say what you will, they're coming for you. To tear you apart. To bleed you out. To consume you and pray it makes them human again."

I raised my .38 and pointed it at the camera.

"I will destroy you myself."

I fired, the camera blowing apart as the bullet ripped through its lens.

"I'll be waiting for you dear boy. Victor Faust is always accepting of walk-ins."

But I wasn't listening to him anymore. I was staring at the thirteen figures whose skin peeled like sunburn to reveal thick fur beneath. Staring at their rows of fangs. At their golden eyes.


"Yes Rebecca?"

"You might want to turn around."

"I don't want to turn around."

"There are about a dozen or so folks behind us. They look pretty ragged but they've got blood on their faces and under their fingernails. They're shaking pretty badly."

"Withdrawl. He's made junkies out of them."

"They've got really sharp teeth Michael."

"I know Becca."

"What are we going to do?"

"Survive. That's our goal."

"Anything else?"

"Nope. I think that'll be hard enough for right now sis."

She shut up. I was glad. The silence would let me have a minute to think.

And all I thought was teeth.

Another glass of rose wine my good man. Make it a double.

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