Yvette, and I had gone our separate ways for the night. The walk to her place was indeed out of my way home, but I didn't mind at all. She was all I could think about.
Her hair, the way she dressed, the way she spoke, and especially the way she cared. I found myself to be infatuated. It was a feeling that I hadn't felt before, and it felt as though the feeling was almost mutual.
Even with my feelings of joy, I knew they'd be short lived. Above all feelings, the job at hand came first. There were ten people that went missing, and Kensuke was the major suspect for knowing about their whereabouts.
I documented everything I saw that day, including the extent of the NTANIS underground facility, which seemed even larger than the building itself. It was creepy. Kensuke's map certainly didn't show the entirety of the place, though it only made sense.
As I drifted in, and out of sleep, a feeling of extreme weight crept on me. My heart began pounding, and sweat poured out of my body. I began heavily breathing, as the feeling dehydration exasperated me.
I jumped out of my bed, and limped toward the bathroom as the weight felt heavier by the second. My eyes began to form bags, seemingly in real-time. As I approached my restroom door, even my limping became no longer enough to keep my body moving.
Over my heavy breathing, I must not have heard the front door to my apartment open. I knew because I definitely could hear my bedroom door open, and close after the footsteps of a man walked in.
A wave of sickness rushed over me, causing me to vomit as soon as I could no longer move. The repulsive mesh of my stomach oozed down my shirt, and to my pants.
Right as I felt it oozing to the floor, a man in a ski mask walked into my sight, seemingly the one who opened my door. The man picked up my body, and tied my arms up behind my back. I was in no state to even resist. I couldn't feel any emotion during this, not even fear.
My body was put down, right in front of my bed, and the intruder began laughing hysterically. The man, now moving around my room, picked up a spoon that I had left on a plate on my dresser.
He looked down at the oozing liquid that was all over my body. Using the spoon, he began to scoop the vomit into his grasps, and force feed it down my throat. He kept the spoon in my mouth for multiple seconds at a time, making sure I tasted every bit of the revolting sensation of eating what I had ejected. I continued to regurgitate everything that she shoved in my mouth, but that only made him go down, deeper into my throat with the spoon.
After several minutes of his force feeding, the man finally took off his mask.
The man, appeared as the President himself. Kensuke stood in my room. One of his eyes was red, the other blue. They were two of the three colors that I had seen.
"I'm sure you'll enjoy her tomorrow!" He shouted, before pulling out a box of matches from his pocket. His blue eye slowly faded into the same crimson red as the other.
I had no idea what the hell he meant, but it was the least of my worries, at that moment.
I stood there, now paralyzed in fear, awaiting his next move. My face couldn't show my emotions, though Kensuke was as expressive as ever, smiling over my weakened body as if I a slave.
Before I knew it, Kensuke lit a match, and threw it to the ground. The match caused other parts of my room to catch fire, but the smoke detector never went off. The fire was the same color as his eyes, burning a morbid, crimson red.
The sound of an unsettling beeping noise radiated in my room, but it was almost inaudible. Kensuke lit another match, this time rubbing the crimson flame all over his facial features.
As his face began burning, the skin on his face started drooping, falling off like how plastic would. His entire set of teeth, aswell as his bloodshot eyesockets were in full view. I was able to see rows of tissue, and muscle in his face, as his teeth all fell from the security of his gums, one by one. Kensuke looked down at my legs for a moment, and as he did, his eyes began sliding, seemingly falling out of their socket from the fire.
He looked up at me with an expression that could only be described as minacious, his eyes only being held by the thin optic nerve. The beeping noise from earlier began growing louder, and louder. It was a beeping that I had recognized, not as the smoke alarm, but as something else. The flames had already made their way to my body. The match that Kensuke dropped to the ground caused my lower half to catch fire. I could feel my clothing burning, and the skin that held my genitals began melting, and sliding off of my belt area, similar to Kensuke's face, along with my legs that looked as if they would turn to ash.
Kensuke just sat and stared at me, making sure not to cause any noise. My vision became blurrier, and blurrier as the flame traveled from my pelvis to my torso.
My breaths became dry, and it felt like my body had lost all of its oxygen. I began hearing my intestinal area popping, as blood shot out of my body. The fire had consumed my entire body by now, and it began to rise.
The excruciating pain that I felt, seemingly in all the nerves in my body alone should've been enough to kill me, though I still sat there, having to bear every single agonizing second of the pain of burning alive. Kensuke was no longer recognizable, as only his burning tissues, and muscles were left of his face. The optic nerves were no longer able to hold on to his eyes, and they quickly burned without a trace.
The unsettling beeping, I recognized it as my alarm clock. It was now the only calming thing that I could imagine. The muffled beeping became louder and louder, until it even drowned out the sound of my burning organs.
Suddenly, unaware of where I was, or what state I was in, I sprung out of bed, clueless about anything that was going on.
I was full of sweat, and my eyes were bloodshot. I had to pat down my entire body, simply to make sure everything was in tact. I could almost still feel the burns on my body.
It had been a dream, a very realistic-feeling dream. I walked to my door, and checked my locks, only to see none had been tampered with.
The trauma I felt in that moment had me sat down on the floor, head wrapped by my hands, as I tried to make sense of the nightmare I just had. It made no sense. In a fit of anger, and confusion, I took my head and slammed it into the floor, causing a large sensation of pain. Even though it was the only pain that was caused in the real world, the pain from my dream made the head trauma feel like almost nothing.
I got ready for the day, full of unease, though rushing to get out before I was late. Regardless of my state, Yvette, as well as Angela, both needed me today. Part of me believed that I should take the day off to regain my sanity, though I'd never forgive myself if something happened to the girls while I was gone.
As I walked out of my house, the physical pain subsided, but the mental pain would linger inside of me for as long as it would stay on my mind.
* * *
Arriving to the building, I was greeted with Yvette waiting for me in the lobby. I was unable to greet her, nor was I able to speak at all. Bags under my eyes were showing, and I looked as If i saw what death looked like.
"Morning!" Yvette said, greeting me with a friendly face.
"..." I was unable to reply. Yvette's face changed from happy to concerned, as she came closer to analyze my facial features.
"What happened...? Is everything okay?"
"..." Yvette grabbed my body and embraced me, once again. The feeling of her body heat hitting me felt as comforting as it did yesterday, but the trauma still prevented me from speaking. There was absolutely nothing in my head, I wouldn't be able to even reply if you asked where I was. I felt like a body that was void of any soul or being.
As I looked behind Yvette, Kensuke walked into my view, walking from the right wing hallway. He smirked at me, giving me a small wave.
Kensuke looked down at his pocket, and pulled something out. He made it clear what it was, a box of matches. He smiled at me, flaunting it as if it was right in front of my face.
"...hngh?!" I said, eyes wide, still with bags. Seeing that finally let me feel emotion, and that emotion was only anger.
Kensuke pulling out matches as if he knew exactly what I dreamed last night made me want to end his life right there. He knew. It wouldn't have surprised me if he was the direct cause of my dream
"Haaah?!..." I said, full of disgust. I retracted from Yvette, and began chasing where I saw Kensuke. Even with my efforts, before I knew it, he was gone. It didn't feel like a hallucination, in fact, I knew it wasn't.
"Liam. I think you should relax. I know this whole situation is getting to you, but you're overwhelming yourself." Yvette said, with a concerned, yet stern voice. I had regained my awareness of surroundings, but still couldn't talk.
"Maybe talking to the people we discussed yesterday will put your mind at ease."
"I hope so, at least." Yvette said, voice shaken.
* * *
Yvette took my hand, and walked toward the central elevator, setting our destination for the bottom floor.
"We'll be making a different turn, in order to gain access to the oversight room."
"..." Yvette looked at me, still worried sick. I wanted to tell her everything, but it felt as if there was some kind of force that prevented me from speaking.
We made a different turn upon entering the bottom floor, avoiding the auditorium room that we previously entered. We arrived to a separate metal door, that had a sensor for some form of identification.
Yvette took out a card from her pocket, and inserted the card into the sensor.
"...Accepted." We heard, as the metal doors slid open.
Walking in, we saw many machines that looked like futuristic technology. The room truly showed the vastness of the underground facilities in this building. It was clearly a place where EVO was being tested, as I saw clear pipes, all flowing with colored liquid.
I saw pink, green, red, and blue. Three of those colors were ones I had seen, but the pink color interested me.
"Yvette!" I heard a girl say from across the room. Her long hair looked similar to Yvette's and her facial features were covered in make-up.
"Ah! Hey, Inara." Yvette replied, showing they knew one another.
"Any reason that you're here, it's been awhile." Inara said.
"Well now, I work with him for the time being." Yvette answered, pointing at me.
Inara looked at me, studying my facial, and bodily features. Inara smiled, giving me a look that felt comforting. Yvette seemed concerned still, but still showed a positive look.
"What's been going on over here?" Yvette asked. She clearly knew alot more than me. She looked around the room as if it was her own home.
"Come over here, you're going to love this." Inara replied, motioning us to follow her.
We walked over to separate room, being a spherical shape. The only thing in this room was a gigantic window, it covered the wall in a panoramic way. and through the glass, was a much larger octagon-shaped room.
On each side of the room, the same Axis chair that was in Angela's cell was also here. All of them were connected to a cube shaped machine, seemingly powering them. All the lights were off, but they were clearly visible.
"It's an Axis EVO chair. I assume you saw them in the cells." Inara interrupted.
"Yeah, they're crazy. You helped develop them?" Yvette asked, showing clear awe, and interest.
"Well, Maverick developed them. Us in this room are just helping test out new features."
"Maverick is a co-founder of Axis, a private company that oversees alot of what Ntanis does." Yvette said, directed at me.
"..." My eyes looked dead, as did everything inside of me. I was listening intently, but Yvette probably thought the opposite. I nodded to her, letting her know that I understood everything.
"Inara, please tell me. Why are people going missing?" Yvette asked, with concern.
Inara's smile looked frustrated with her question, as if she didn't want to talk. "Ah. Thats a rough question to just ask your supervisor like it was so casual." Inara replied, smiling. "Let it be known that you're no longer on our level, as you work with that man."
Yvette looked absolutely pissed with that comment. Emotions flew through my head, wondering who the hell that girl was.
"The hell? Do you know something that I should?" Yvette asked, slowly losing her composure.
"I think if you were meant to know, you would." Inara retorted. "The only person that knows the entire reason is Maverick, and he's not easy to get contact with."
"I know damn well you know something. What's going on?" Yvette replied, walking out of the circular room. Her emotions were slowly getting to her. Multiple lights had gone out in the main room, and the atmosphere turned eerie, and unsettling.
"I wouldn't go around starting rumors like that, Yvette. Like I said, ask Maverick if you truly think you should know." Inara replied, still smiling. Her smile became creepier, as her voice became emptier, and void of emotion.
"Screw Maverick, I'll hurt you." Yvette retorted. She was clearly getting worked up due to her concern for me. It made me feel guilty for this whole situation, but I wanted to support Yvette. Inara wouldn't give us a proper reply, and she was clearly not to be trusted.
"Will you now?" Inara answered. Without looking, she pulled a revolver out of her coat pocket. It was something that I should've noticed, but I was focused on everything else.
Inara snapped her fingers, causing what seemed like a million red dots to target her body.
"It wouldn't take much to make you look like an accident." Inara said, still wearing that revolting smile. Tension rose in the room, and Yvette was visibly sweating.
Without warning, I grabbed Yvette's body, and yanked her hand. I couldn't stand to see her in danger. I took my grip and ran as fast as I could for the door.
"Please return if anything is needed." Inara said as we ran. Something told me that going there would risk our health.
We ran out, making sure Inara was no longer in sight. I hugged Yvette, making sure she was alright. Wordlessly, we walked away from the room, and walked towards the auditorium.
* * *
Sitting down, Kensuke was at the front of the room, as usual. He looked as though he had news.
Minutes had passed, and Yvette had slightly calmed down, at least she looked like she had. Once he counted everyone, a familiar face walked in through the central door.
"Hello everyone. I'm here with Kensuke to provide you some news." Inara had said, walking in. Her eyes were blue, and her movements looked unnatural. She was bending as she walked, in ways that weren't natural for humans. Yvette looked as though she was going to be sick. I held her hand tightly, trying to support her.
Kensuke looked us all in the eyes, with a sympathetic look.
"I'm unfortunately going to have to alert you that patients 11-20 haven't been found in their cells this morning."
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