Chapter XIII

Chapter XIII

Dark Corner Bound

Perhaps it was now few hours that I am circling in this maze. Perhaps more time passed, but due to lack of light and being enclosed within these walls I am not sure about time anymore. After that hell rabbit went away, miraculously – my body began co-operating with me, and to top it off on a good note doors were opened, so I left.
Right now I am doing my best to recall all the details about this world. But all I can muster to get out of my head is one location within these walls, but it is one of few which actually have windows.
These dark corridors are driving me back to insanity which I somehow survived here before, but what happened altogether is hazy in my memory. It was cold in here; my breath was making foggy clouds, and then dissolved. I was periodically touching walls, although they were simply like ice, some at times felt warmer. Half see through all of them, yet I distinguished that some were bit thinner, some thicker. Every few square meters of room space in this maze were doors, and I had been opening and closing them every few minutes. I could for now recall one thing: in here going towards the lights meant death.
After some more moments I stumbled upon a room with broken glass scattered all over the floor. “Shit, I do remember this one. I think it was on the right side few doors down after.”- Niko whispered to herself as she barely managed to; bit by bit, slowly get through this room with causing as less sound as possible. “Yeah, these bastards react to noise, some others to light.” – She recalled in her head.
This place had the best of it with swarming mongrels of monsters, who long ago were humans, but no longer.

Finally the door and walls from solid material, nothing to see through. That’s the one, that’s where she left her. Niko touched the handle, silently turned it and door unlocked. She walked inside, closing the door behind. Inside was moonlight, room with simple bed and someone sitting on it, window had bars on it, yet still let the light in. It was cold here, colder than before in the maze. Walls were covered with frost; half of floor was ice other half crumbling and cracking from cold. Bars on windows left shadow on the floor, seemed beautiful in a way. Person on the bed was all covered with blankets, breath making puffs of fog, her hair long, sticking out of the massive “armour” of blankets.
This someone on the bed turned around to face intruder, eyes glistened in the faint light, blankets slipped back on bed, then she got up and walked towards Niko. All in warm clothes, boots. It’s a wonder how she is still alive.
“So you’re back. You sure left me hanging for too long this time around.”-spoke this person.
“Nice to see you again, yet still it’s weird to see myself from aside.” – Niko replied.

Indeed, the person facing Niko was the exact copy of her – to be precise; it was the other her from this dimension. And this world is the horrid underworld, where all the insanity gathers to feast.
They hugged each other, feeling finally some warmth in this forever winter land.

***

The indicators show stability of the patient, machine engine keep on humming, some scientists walk around keeping tabs on all the data they have hands on, observing one body connected to many wires, putted in tank with liquid, yet supplied with needed oxygen and other in-vein vitamins and proteins to keep this body functioning.
In the room behind the window stands man, in glasses, looking at this body, fiddling the pen in hand, breathing out heavily. He then turns around and walks out. After few steps he’s stopped by an apprentice: “Sir, you must report the progress to Chef.”
Man in glasses nods and walks further to his destination.
There are so many things yet to discover.

***

– Tell me what happened. – Niko sat down on the bed, staring out the window.
– Well, you left me here, I got some help by forces supplying me food and water through window, yet each time someone new is sent to get me, he gets killed right after he or she makes delivery to me. Cat at times comes to keep me company in here, but he is also under suspicions, so he is not as often as I’d liked. All the rest – just days passing by and sun barely shining through this thick darkness. – Doppel was walking around in the room as she explained latest events. Her boots soles were silent, yet they had quite a massive heel.
– So… Trapped or just unwilling to open door on your own? – Niko turned to look at her Doppel, smiling.
– Waiting for you. You said it yourself before you disappeared, so that I stay and wait for you. Did you lose memory again? – Doppel took a good look at her other self, raising her brow.
Niko scratched her forehead, then rustled through her hair, breathed out, and finally took a look at her hands – which shook in slight fear. She was back, yet had the whole effort yet to be put to remember what was forgotten. Each time parts are somehow erased.

– I remember how I was cornered by Red. I was bleeding, my left side all in pain, blood on my hands, scratches all over my body. Red was overjoyed by circumstances, as she got me in the room downstairs, while I was shaking with terror inside it. That’s the rest of what I can recall. – Niko looked at Doppel as she came to sit next to her, took her shaking hands with her steady warm hands, entangling their fingers. Doppel looked in Nikos eyes, giving off sense of calmness.
– So we should go, right? Before you become like one of them “lifeless”. – Doppel smiled.
Doppel took Niko by hands, got herself up, then pulled Niko. Niko was somehow in slight daze of the memories that started to come back. To snap person back, Doppel slapped Niko across the face, making right cheek burn with sharp pain. Niko surprised it, but to look at it – she’d do the same, so she got back to this reality.
They both opened door, looked around to make sure it’s still quiet, then got out, silently shutting door behind; making this room the save point in this maze.
Now they both were on their way to find the exit from this hell – something they both started off time ago.
***

Crossing the corridor to end up in office room with some remarkable name, then sitting down in chair, breathing out and taking off glasses.
“Now we have to wait.” – Thought Kriss.
This space was usual office room, yet the look of walls being full of different books, papers, documents, all putted and stored like in the “old” times, yet this was the best possible way to avoid information leakage. This room had been prepared like a small studio flat, just without windows and with sliding walls holding bedroom behind with bathroom and toilet.

Though this room looked nothing much, but security of this room was even higher than the top notch fortresses.
Phone call was to be awaited, the higher up from somewhere was about to have a talk with Kriss.
But for now he observed the statistics of functioning regarding the body few floor levels below. It was his job keeping track of his division and keeping track of this person, who was not last under his jurisdiction. Not letting out before it wakes up, not allowing disconnection to the body of any sort, making sure information is strictly sealed and no one remembers anything after the end of the shift. Everyone has to be wiped out, so that AIO does not trigger any reactions that aren’t allowed. There’s only one man in this place allowed to remember – Kriss, he is the only one who never leaves the office, who lives in this place, just to make sure that this research is of no harm or possibility to be known to others. Just one man, other than Kriss has the memory and the data of the progress of this project and this person was about to call.

***

Cold walls were actually soothing now, but the one thing giving chills down the spine was to see the dead creatures just behind the wall, in less than metre from you, that were hibernating, but would snap at any sound that was louder than faint whisper. These creatures were human once, but after the creation of some forbidden, oh so much later, chemicals, these bastards were born.
Both Doppel and Niko were manoeuvring through rooms opening and closing doors, avoiding fallen snow, broken glass and other mischievous leftovers from battles with rescue corps. Although some seemed like nothing much, yet one thing they had in common that was like the deadly trigger saying you’re ready to die – all these things were making sound.
Both of them knew what hell this was, and that all who were left became the still walking sort of creatures with overgrown limbs, with sharp claws yet blind, with horrid white eyes. These things would bounce out to any sound, clawing and killing instantly. There were others too, reacting to light and horridly deaf, also with grotesque deformed bodies.
Soon as they reached the part where stairway was, along with broken walls and leftover parts, something started to flash back and forth around them – dark shadow. Doppel and Niko gripped onto each other’s hands, holding them tighter than ever. These things either were the scouts of Red, or the pieces of Cat. One was an adequate person, quietly helping them from aside; another was bloodthirsty maniac having strangest affection to Doppel and Niko, which outcome as doing all to get to torture them. Yet these shadows could never be distinguished to which is which. So both girls froze in place, waiting what’ll come next.
The shadow flashed away, and few seconds later they heard crashing sound and evil laughter of Red.
– Shit, we better make a run for it. – Doppel said.
– Upstairs, come! – Niko rushed.

Both girls running up the broken stairs, with bits of glass and pieces of wood scattered around them, they maneuvered  through all the rubbish, making sure as they went they didn’t wake up the lifeless bastards which stood arm’s length away from them at times.
“Floor 7” read the sign on the wall, the one of few floors with windows and different sort of walls, so they both darted inside the hallway on this floor.
Right then they heard the horrid sound of chainsaw, the crushing sound of walls, glass being chipped more to bits by footsteps, crying of the lifeless bastards who most likely just unfortunately got in the way and voice of Red repeating: “Oh you’re back! Let’s play! Let’s play!”.

Finally some more light was shining in the corridor from windows on the right side, where they got. Both were now going a bit slower, as the floor was creaking in places and other parts had holes to the hell below, where Red was lurking and scouting like maniac for them both, shouting out about his so called “love”.
Suddenly one of the doors on the left opened and Cat was standing there, with the gist of his hand he showed to enter the room. Niko and Doppel made it just in time, as the rest of the glass windows shattered in hallway, Red yelled  “I’ll find you!” and made her way through, then disappeared to the other side of building, judging by the sounds that were made.

Cat was holding girls mouths, so that there was no extra sound. Even so, their bare breathing and thumping of hearts made them believe that it was so loud that Red would find them and have her way.
Just as the sounds died down, as Red and her minions went away, Cat released the grip.
Both Doppel and Niko finally breathed out then took a breather. Somehow they were really appreciating and quite happy to see Cat.
This person was the copy of David, in the world where Niko was. Cat had white hair, amazing body, green eyes, but he was in his black-framed glasses and strange barocco-like suit. Looking somehow like a butler, but with less officially, as his shirt was always undone, showing his pale skin.
Cat smiled to girls:

– Oh, good to see you outside, – Cat looked at Doppel, then turned to Niko, – and good to see you back.

From slight overflow of emotions Doppel hugged Cat tight. Niko just mumbled “Oh I wish…” to herself.
The bunker kind of room they stopped at had window, which attracted Nikos attention, as she got up to look around leaving the two to their moment. Room by the look of it was a classroom, but so destroyed and burned out. Pacing to the window Niko looked at old papers on the small tables laving till something written on them. Window had barely holding pieces of what once were flowery drapes.
Niko took a look outside the window – city, broken and burned, with these bastard creatures walking around aimlessly, then there is one massive wall further, with some slight lights there and smog, hovering above it – refuge of the force. That is the place where Doppel and Cat have to be returned. They are both from there, well, actually Red is also from that place, but she had the worst of it by agreeing to become a pet to one scientist who made her this way and threw here out here.tumblr_nu7m9s9m1u1u5i4jvo1_500
Niko had one mission to carry out here – kill the bastards, or find a way to lessen them, also to erase Red from existence.
Oh, the work yet to be done…

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