In the future, thanks to the Synchroneity corporation, alien technology has been integrated into the human body, making life better for all of humanity. Several citizens must weather a five hundred year storm inside the Sears-Willis Tower, also housed there are the Synchroneity research labs, and a research experiment has broken loose from containment.
Cast Roles Edit
- Lilibet Becket (Kate Elliott) - Youngest daughter of English nobleman Henry Becket, the family recently moved to the States from England. Lilibet, her mother, father, and her sister, along with her sister's new husband, are at the tower to see a play. Lilibet is 21, but she acts younger than her age.
- Kurt Wellington (Mike Ginn) - College dropout, recreational drug user and a bit of a shady character, Kurt is at the tower to talk to his father about joining his investment firm.
- Mandi Storm (Markeia McCarty) - Film director/vlogger, visiting the tower to see the human run coffee bar.
- Alexia Martin (Cristina Vee) - Mysterious survivor of the events in Synchroneity labs.
Chapter Summaries Edit
It is the year 2218, Chicago, Kurt Wellington sits alone in a bar pod on the 20th floor of the Sears-Willis tower, overlooking the river. On the incoming media feed we hear about the ever-growing five hundred year storm Gemma, making its way across the mid-territories. “Originating just outside of Seattle, Washington, the most that can be said about this behemoth is: wow. Nothing to fear though, it is not the first five hundred year storm this year and it won't be the last. Put in your drone order before 10am in the event that...” A knock on the glass disturbs Kurt's reverie, it's his old freshman dorm buddy Jason Jeffries. Jason was supposed to have had an interview with Synchroneity but they canceled on him. Kurt is here to meet with his father, he wants his son to join the family firm, Goldman-Wellington, also headquartered here in the Sears-Willis Tower. Jason had heard that Kurt had had a 'run in with drugs' after college but Kurt assures him his father has been looking after him.
Mandi Storm walks South Wacker street below, her personal camera drone hovering above her, listening to an audio tour piped into her earpiece from her wristband. “To your right, Sears-Willis Tower, the only Chicago tower structure to survive the Great Quake of 2018. Once the tallest building in the world, it now ranks 1,324th on height alone. Particular to your interests, there is a coffee shop inside modeled after those of great popularity at the turn of the century. The only coffee bar on the east coast run by human workers. Please note that they accept coin and NFC chips only with no terminal for biometric scan. This should not pose a problem for you.” Mandi rates the shop five stars and heads into the tower.
The coffee bar is on the ground floor of the tower, connected to the main lobby, the patrons appear to be mainly people who work in the tower and she stands out a bit. Inside, a young man waits to take her order, he recognizes Mandi and tells her he subscribes to her. He pulls back the skin of his palm to reveal a small screen implanted there and shows her her own MeFeed. She tells him that she hasn't gotten any implants herself, she prefers the body she was born with. She tells him she's in Chicago to film a music video with a new, unheard of, band. Mandi orders her drink and the man, the only worker in the shop, turns and hits a button, then tells her it will be ready in a minute.
They talk while the machine makes her coffee and she learns his name is Grifter, he is a musician, and he doesn't have a MeFeed account so he can't link her his stuff. He tells her she is free to have a seat and hang out, this is one of the only places left where people can sit down for free.
Walking through the lobby are Lilibet Becket and her father, Henry, they are on the way to a play. The theater here in the tower is one of the last in the country to do live plays. “Lili you know your mother will not appreciate us being late,” the man tells his young daughter. They are talking about their move to the States from England, Lilibet says it has been easier on her sister because she has her husband to help. Henry tells her that there are opportunities here that the old country hasn't accepted. Lilibet has a future here, all their titles and ins with the powers in England were going nowhere. He places his hand over a scanner on the door to the theater and it buzzes, he asks if she brought any coin with her.
Henry walks over to a man behind a desk, his name tag reads Harold Eldridge, and he tells him there seems to be something wrong with the biometric scanner. Harold is a bearded, somewhat grizzled older man, he wears a wrist tazer and security uniform. A beeping sounds from the desk and Harold quickly starts scanning screens and cursing. Lilibet sees his eyes go wide and gloss over with a sheen that signifies he has connected to retinal displays. Henry tells Lilibet to call her mother and alert her. Harold's eyes return to normal and a key appears from his wristband as a cylinder rises from his desk, he connects the two and an alarm begins to sound.
“We should get mother, and Georgie, and (her husband) Berty.”
Harold's eyes gloss over again and he says, “Lockdown secured. What about the civilians? Scans show 486 signatures outside Synchroneity operations...but they're civilians!..understood.”
Inside the coffee bar, Grifter shouts to Harold, asking what's going on as metal shutters slam down over the windows. “This is not a drill!” Harold shouts. “I need everyone to follow me to the storm shelter, now! We will do this in an orderly fashion, single file. No running, if you get out of line you will be apprehended by Synchroneity security.”
“Hey can you tell us what's going on?” Mandi asks.
“We will head to the storm shelter, now.” Harold ignores her question.
Ten floors up, Kurt sees the shutters fall and the bar pod goes dark, the screens repeat a message: please stay calm, head to the lobby. “The storm wasn't supposed to hit 'til tonight. What's going on?” Jason asks. Kurt calls his father to see if he knows anything.
“What did you do?” Kurt's father asks. “Head to the lobby! Security will notify me personally if I need to leave. Just make your way to the lobby.”
Kurt and Jason head to the lobby, they have to take the stairs due to the lockdown. A flood of people is moving down the stairs, jostling each other as they descend.
Chapter 1 Edit
They are being ushered into a large, concrete room. A remnant of the old building from before the 2018 earthquake. It's filled with linens, cleaning supplies and a very large steel door that had swung open to admit them. Henry and Lilibet search for their family but can't seem to find them. Henry pushes back through the crowd to ask the security officer. As he approaches, and Jason and Kurt enter with the last few people, Harold shuts the door and locks it with loud bang. The security officer enters a ten digit code, scans his wrist key, then puts his eye to a scanner. They all hear large locks slide into place.
“This will be your new home for the next couple hours!” Harold shouts, “I need you all to remain calm. Everything will be fine, you have access to your phones, your communication devices, your outside feeds. Just please remain calm as we wait for this to blow over.”
“What's going to happen to everybody that's still out there?” Lilibet asks.
“I'm sorry, I was only allowed to let people in that were on Synchroneity properties in the building at large. Certain rooms and or properties that are not public access as referred to by Synchroneity are held by other companies and we are not liable for the people in those establishments.”
When Henry asks about the theater he adds, “The theater is not a part of Synchroneity, nor are many of the offices in the building. You had access to public areas that were provided by the general owners of this building, and that is why you are safe right now.”
“What about other people who were in the building? Are they also in a room like this? Are they safe?” Lilibet asks.
“I am not at liberty to discuss anything other than the fact that I need you to remain calm until this all blows over. Feel free to use your devices as you see fit.”
Henry starts poking at the biometric device in his hand, no one answers his call. All Kurt can see on his device is posts from other people within the shelter saying that they've been locked in, nothing about anything happening outside. Mandi contacts her agent, Jamie and asks about a storm in Chicago, telling him she is locked in a storm shelter. No storm is happening, it's supposed to hit tonight, but the whole building is locked up, people outside are sharing photos of it and a local news crew is on the way. “You got your camera on you right? Record everything, take notes, names. How much data you think you can get outta there.”
“I've got the usual, but I don't know if I can upload from this building, basically everyone is biometric here.”
Her agent presses her on how she should have gone biometric then tells her to get him whatever she can before hanging up. Mandi goes over to Grifter and talks to him about using his link to upload data. Grifter wants fifty percent, Mandi tells him she'll see what she gets from this. They talk about what this could all be about, since it's not a storm is it a Synchroneity coverup? Shouldn't their phones be blocked if that is the case? Mandi asks about possible targets for questioning and Grifter points out that Lilibet seems out of place here. He also tells her that the security agents are outside hires and they probably won't know much more than the two of them. Mandi tells him she'll go talk to people and will meet back up with him later.
She speaks to Mandi and her father and they exchange stories.
Jason and Kurt are sitting in a corner, Jason pulls out a pill and pops it into his mouth, letting it dissolve. “It's for anxiety, I don't like being closed in,” he tells Kurt.
Kurt asks Jason if he has any more info on what Synchroneity is doing here. Jason tells him they are headhunting people, he didn't want talk about it too much earlier to not make do-nothing Kurt feel uncomfortable. Kurt tries to call his father's company, no one answers. He tries another company he knows within the building and there's no connection there either. They decide to go talk to Harold.
Harold stands in front of the door, watching the crowd nervously, with one hand on his pistol. Kurt asks if there is any additional information and Harold tells him to back away and remain calm. He has his orders and they are to remain in this room for their own safety. “Stay calm, and you'll get to go home no problem once this is done.”
Under pressure from Kurt, Harold reveals that he was only supposed to let executives into the shelter and he ignored orders to let in civilians as well. He doesn't know anything about the situation outside other than that, but he can't have everyone else knowing that because he needs them to remain calm.
Kurt and Jason leave the tense security guard alone and go back to their conversation, Jason continues to press Kurt about how he thinks the way Kurt is running his life is bullsh*t. Kurt 'chooses' to keep spending his dad's money on drugs, dropping out of college without a care in the world. Jason walks off into the crowd.
Grifter walks up to Mandi and tells her that no one is talking to him, he doesn't think anyone in here knows what is going on. Mandi sends her drone into the air to get some high angle shots and walks over to Harold to see what he knows. Harold shoos Grifter away and then asks Mandi to turn off her drone, contractually he is not allowed to be on film. She tells him that there is an auto-blur feature on for faces.
When she questions him, he tells her he has no information for her, he is just doing his job. “When my supervisor calls and gives me an operating order, it is my job to uphold it. Not to ask questions, not to say why, to just do it. That's my job. And, it is to keep people safe. Literally, you are in here to keep you safe. This is the best place to be right now.”
“What is going on out there man?”
“I don't know,” he insists.
“What is going on out there Harold?” Mandi presses.
“What is it with people and me not f***ing knowing?!” he shouts at her. People start to turn and look at them and becoming uneasy, talking in a hush to each other.
“I just need everyone to remain calm for a few hours until we can get out of here.” Harold says.
“You were saying something about Synchroneity execs being in here,” Kurt pipes up.
“I didn't say anything...This drunk idiot, you can small the booze coming off of him...” Harold objects.
“Why would Synchroneity mix in normal people and executives?” Mandi asks.
“Apparently Harold kind of strayed from his job and brought in others he wasn't supposed to,” Kurt stage whispers.
“Can you turn the camera off?” Harold asks again.
“I can't, it's on cycle right now,” Mandi lies.
“Can you please turn the camera off, ma'am,” he insists. When she doesn't, Harold points his taser at the drone and brings it down. “I asked you to turn the camera off, it is in my contract to not be on camera.”
She yells at him and he points the taser at her.
“How does this look for you, in front of these Synchroneity execs?!” Mandi yells. “Does it look good for you to destroy personal property? To lock people in a room?!”
“You just gave yourself away,” he sighs.
Another individual walks up, “Yeah, Harold, why are there non-Synchroneity people in this vault?”
“We got Synchroneity right here,” Kurt says, “You Synchroneity?”
“Yeah, so are most of the people in this room,” the man says.
“Do you know what's going on?” Kurt asks.
“No, we don't know,” the man answers, “but we know this room is here to protect us.”
“Well you're just gonna have to let the non-Synchroneity people out, right?” Kurt says.
“Harold can you please tell me why this...riff-raff was allowed in this vault?” the man asks.
“I was just trying to help. I know what this room is for and I knew something bad was happening. There were civilians in the building and I'm trying to help you!” Harold shouts.
Eventually Mandi admits that she probably shouldn't have kept filming him.
“Look I was told not to let civilians in here, and I couldn't do that. So you're here, and I'm breaking protocol to try to save your asses and if anyone at Synchroneity has a problem with that...f*** you!”
Kurt also apologizes to Harold for his part in all of this. Harold now reveals that he has been trying to contact his superiors and there has been no response.
“Harold can you just open the door to see if...” Lilibet starts.
“I will not open this door,” Harold tells her.
Mandi picks up her fried Go-Drone and manages to get it working again, she keeps it on her shoulder though, to make it less noticeable to the security officer.
Henry gets a call from his wife, Lilibet's mother, but all he hears is static, not something he is used to hearing on these integrated communication lines. He tries to call her back to no avail.
Harold addresses the crowd, “I know a lot of you in this room work for Synchroneity, I am unable to contact my supervisor so if anyone has any pertinent information that could help us in this situation it would be greatly appreciated. As you can see I feel like we are going to have an issue with individuals in this room if we are unable to provide them with anything. So if anyone has anything, please share!”
When no one speaks up, Kurt and Mandi voice their disbelief that no one has any information. Kurt tries to get Harold to tell them who the Synchroneity executives are, but he doesn't want anyone to know for the safety of the execs. One of the people from the I.T. side of Synchroneity speaks up about how the company keeps information segregated on a need to know basis. When they are told 'go to the bunker', they go.
When Kurt brings up calling emergency services, several people mention that they have tried that, they were told that emergency services were not allowed in the building and are kept out by the metal shutters in any case.
“It's as if they were trying to keep something in,” Mandi speculates.
As soon as she says this, the lights go out. Harold tells everyone to remain calm, the generators will kick in soon. When the lights come back up, Henry has stolen Harold's armband and is fiddling with the locks on the door. When Harold tries to stop him, Henry elbows him in the nose and goes back to work. Suddenly, he starts to jerk as electricity travels through the door into his arm. Henry collapses to the ground and a nurse comes forward asking for any stimulants, Kurt has some Working Class Hero on him. The stimulant brings Henry back to consciousness.
Meanwhile Harold tells them that the wristband, which is the only way out of the shelter form the inside, was fried as well. While they talk about this, the lights go out again. This time they stay out. The only light within the shelter now comes from peoples wrist bands, biometric screens, and other tech.
Grifter comes up to Mandi and says he has lost his uplink to the outside world, there's some kind of interference with the signal.
- History: Lilibet has a split personality she doesn't know about and her other side is much darker then her normal self. (Turned into a GM power and reworked into her dis-associative identity disorder)
- Discovery: Kurt finds a gun (for GM only: it's jammed). (This is reworked to one of the wrist tazers but it never really comes up again as Kurt never uses the weapon.)
- Discovery: While wandering around the shelter, Mandi discovers a replica of a late 20th century replica. It is a fish mounted on a wooden plate hanging on the wall. As Mandi approaches it the head and lips move. The fish has had wings glued to it. (Zac gives this one a big old nope.)
Chapter 2 Edit
The people trapped within the shelter hear a noise outside, and the locks start to unlock one by one. Everyone inside takes a step back, unsure of what is coming in. Alexia Martin enters, telling the people that they don't want to be outside right now, their lives were saved when they were brought in here. A man pulls her aside and they have a whispered conversation. “What are you doing?” the man asks. “I can't go back out there,” she says, “We can't let anyone know what's going on, just keep them in here.”
“Yeah, if anyone finds out who you are, this is going to go south very quickly. I was grabbing coffee downstairs...did the experiment... nobody can get a hold of anyone, is anyone still alive upstairs?” the man asks.
“I don't know,” she replies.
“Okay, just play it cool. They can't know that we know what's going on until someone gets us out of here, okay?”
He then introduces her as his 'friend Tressa'. They build the narrative that 'Tressa' was also pushed into the shelter to keep her safe with the rest of them. No one is really buying it, but Alexia and the man tell them that 'something bad' is happening out there and that they are all safest in the shelter. Kurt intimidates the man by pushing him up against a wall and grabbing him by the neck. Alexia and the man tell them that poison was released into the vents, then Kurt threatens the man with a wrist tazer he stole from one of the Synchroneity workers in the shelter.
“Someone is doing this to us, it's an attack,” the man says.
Harold doesn't remember ever seeing the name 'Tressa' on the security ledgers and he then asks her about her key and his supervisors. She tells him everyone is dead out there, if they go out there they will die too, so they should just stay here for a while until things are under control upstairs. 'Tessa' tells them that she was in the basement seeing her lover, that was how she escaped the poison.
Grifter comes up and tells Mandi that he found a way around the firewalls and has a connection to the outside, the storm has arrived sooner than expected and the government is evacuating the city. Also, there is a man standing atop the tower, not wearing any clothes. He shows the screen on his hand to everyone, and asks who this is. Immediately, Jeremy, the man who talked to 'Tressa' earlier, calls her 'Vessa' now and pulls her aside.
“The subject is on the roof, somebody's got a live feed, they're showing the subject on the roof right now,” he whispers.
“Get me out of here, safely.” Alexia orders him.
“Holy f***! He just got struck by lightning and he's just standing there!” Grifter shouts. “The lightning is like channeling through...”
Mandi sends her drone to capture video of Grifter's palm screen, the body of the Subject starts to separate and flow with the lightning energy as it pours into the man. The Subject kneels down and starts to glow as the lightning comes to a stop. Then the Subject stands up and opens its arms wide, releasing a pulse of orange light, the feed shuts off, the lights go out. Everyone with bio-tech implanted within them starts to scream, Henry's body begins to writhe as he screams in pain. Ninety percent of the people within the shelter fall to the ground, screaming.
Jeremy starts to panic and tells Alexia that they have to get out of there, this time using her real name. “The Subject..that signal brought the storm here faster than we thought, it sent out an EMP, that was probably an EMP. It showed signs of electromagnetic distortion befor, that's probably how it got out of its restraints. Alexia, at what point in the testing did we get through any aspect of the mind control aspects of the subject...or...I'm trying to remember what stage we were at in the project when this all went down, we need to figure out what stage it's at if we are going to isolate the problem and get out of here, and what signs were being exhibited up to this point.”
“It woke up, after being unresponsive. Then it killed everyone in the room. We tried to contain it but someone triggered the alarm and sent us into lockdown.” Alexia tells them.
They talk about what their next move is, Jeremy brings up that the subject may have cut a hole somewhere upstairs they could get out of, but the Subject had called the storm to them. The storm originated in Seattle, but they tracked a signal through Kolob, Oregon. “This thing that we created just hailed a five hundred year storm on us, Alexia, I think we're out of our depth here.”
“You think? Look, figure out a way to get me safe, and we'll fix this somehow.”
“Someone's going down for this,” Kurt interjects, “You two definitely are.”
“Shut up, man,” Jeremy tells him.
“Shut up? You just told me you're responsible for all this...”
“And if you want to stop it, you're gonna need both of us,” Jeremy tells them. “We're the only two people in the whole wide world that know what's happening right now.”
“And you're probably the only two who made this all happen,” Mandy says, trying to turn her drone back on, but it remains unresponsive. All tech seems to have been destroyed by the pulse.
The room goes silent. The screams stop. Everyone that had biometrics in their body are no longer moving.
- History: Kurt takes drugs to cover up his demons, his killer tendencies. He lost control when he was younger and it led to the death of someone very close to him.
Chapter 3 Edit
Lilibet cradles her dead father in her lap, the weight of what has just happened lies heavily on the survivors. The lights are off, their screens are off, all electronics appear non-functional. Jeremy has slumped to the ground, his head in his hands. “I have reason to believe that the pulse was amplified by the storm to affect the whole area...” Jeremy says.
“How large of an area?” Kurt asks.
“Chicago. Someone get to the door! Hold the door shut! The electronics are down, that door is open.” Jeremy, panicked, starts moving quickly toward the large door.
“Are you saying that thing is coming for us?” Mandi asks.
Alexia suggests using the bodies to block the door and Lilibet shouts at them not to touch her father.
Two other individuals, Scott, the Synchroneity I.T. guy and Kurt's friend Jason, start stacking bodies in front of the door.
“Is this thing going to start looking for the both of you?” Mandi asks.
“The other people of the city will keep him plenty busy,” Alexia coldly proclaims.
“Alexia, do you really think it's going to go after people? This was supposed to be for human advancement, not human destruction!” Jeremy protests.
“Looks like you've failed then,” she responds.
“What is this thing?” Mandi asks.
Alexia tries to keep Jeremy quiet, but after some back and forth, including a slap from Lilibet to Alexia. “Someone get this child off of me,” Alexia looks around for back up but no one moves, Alexia also recognizes Jason as someone she had planned to hire had bigger issues not come up. When Alexia goes to slap Lilibet back, Kurt grabs her hand.
Jeremy speaks up and they learn that Alexia owns Synchroneity. “I'm realizing now that it's all true, Alexia. All of the books, the research, the symbols. They weren't just roadmaps to science for us to understand. They were all true. They weren't stories, but things that happened. That thing just set off some sort of energy pulse that I don't fully understand.”
“Perhaps this is all nature's way of destroying the weak,” she says.
“But it's not nature, you know that. Your grandmother (who started the company and has been dead for years) knew that. Look, this thing, it's tapped into things we don't understand: energies, dimensions. It's pulling from places that we can't track, can't follow. Places that our brains have a hard time comprehending. It's not human. We started with a body. An infected body. Hundreds of years ago.”
“Infected with what?” Mandi asks.
“Alien blood,” Alexia answers.
“Where did you find it?”
“The Alps,” Jeremy continues, “it was still human, we believe, it chose to remove itself from people. According to our records it was someone that used to work for the governemnt, a Director Bunny. He went on a murderous rampage in late 2020, then disappeared. We found his body later. That's where it started.”
“Then you harvested the DNA from this murderous being then what, played go go lab with it?” Mandi asks.
“Create, like, what? Weaponize it? Create clones from it, something like that.” Kurt adds.
“This is the stuff that I expose all the time. Big private government doing things like this. You did this, you killed these people. That's was you, both of you!” Mandi accuses.
“We were trying to better mankind, the experiment failed. How do you think we got to where we are now?” Alexia turns to Lilibet, “How do you think your father lived until now? With biometrics!”
“He never should have touched it!” Lilibet shouts, “It's sinful and it's wrong and look where it's got us!”
“The amount of tech we created with alien artifacts is astounding. You use it in your everyday life, it's a part of the fabric of our society,” Jeremy tells them.
“So if it's alien tech, you think that absolves you from your misstep?” Kurt asks.
“You need to understand how to stop this thing. The alien DNA, we thought, could help cure cancer. It had the ability to take the form of other things, replicate itself, sustain itself, as DNA. Quite remarkable.” Jeremy continues. “The DNA was enhanced with some orbs that we found. Synchroneity records indicated that divers rescued eight black orbs from a sunken house outside of Atlanta. These orbs appeared to have the ability to open small dimensional portals through psycho-enhancement, thoughts, feelings. Whatever else we did was outside of my department.”
“So you took alien DNA, from this murderous being, souped it up with inter-dimensional tech, then grew it in a lab and expected that this would be better for mankind?” Madi asks.
“It wasn't alive! We were just gene-splicing, doing what we had done for generations to better mankind.” Jeremy protests.
“But then it became alive, and you let it live and you let it grow. That was a full grown being on the roof of this building!” Mandi says.
Jason interjects that he would like to leave, to go home.
At this point Alexia draws a gun, “No one is leaving, because I have uses for all of you.” The gun has survived many years in Alexia's family, possibly composed by Synchroneity using unknown materials.
In the year 2213, on Alexia's 75th birthday, she has just had her youth treatment, her brother holds a gun on her. However, her bodyguard has come up behind her brother, undetected, and Alexia gives her guard the nod to kill her brother. She doesn't feel remorse, only a twinge of greed, assuaged when she reaches down to take the gun off of her brother's body. She silently thanks her brother for the family heirloom.
“Whoa whoa whoa, Alexia calm down, What are you doing?” Scott asks.
“It's about time you recognized who's in charge here,” she says.
“In charge of what?” Scott asks.
“Whatever's left of humanity, I will come out on top. And you're gonna help me get there.” Alexia says.
“You're a psychopath,” Scott tells her, and she points the gun at him and pulls the trigger. Nothing happens, and after a tense moment, Scott stumbles back and away from Alexia, hyperventilating. He trips on a dead body and the others begin to feel a heat, they begin to get very hot, very quickly. There is a smell as well, that of cooking flesh, they look over at the bodies piled by the door and see a steam rising from the pile. They begin to hear the sound of moving, joining flesh, a squirming like that of a horde of maggots, as the bodies within the room begin to glow orange.
The glow seems to be stemming from whatever piece of their body was enhanced by Synchroneity tech as it begins to burn its way free of their bodies.
Chapter 4 Edit
Lilibet's father Henry's body begins to lift from the ground, led by his heart, glowing orange. His arm is left behind on the floor as the corpse rises into eye contact with Lilibet, looking through her. The bodies in front of the door are beginning to congeal, joining together as the Synchroneity tech within them merges. Mandi reaches for the jacket she has left on the body of Grifter. As she does she jerks her hand back when a pair of metal shards tear through the jacket from where Grifter's eyes would be. They elongate into long leg-like structures that reach the ground on either side of the body's head and push his face forward through the remains of the jacket. Mandi wraps the torn jacket around his throat and football kicks the head off of his body. It spins across the floor, hitting another body and sinking into it's leg where it is absorbed.
Bodies begin to arise all around the group and Alexia takes refuge behind Scott, who immediately tries to elbow her in the face. This time, Alexia pulls a knife, which she stabs into his back, whispering, “Don't make this harder on yourself than it already is.”
After reacting to this, Kurt and Mandi, Mandi on the brink of madness, go to move the bodies away from the door. They succeed, but see the remaining hundreds of bodies with the shelter rising and merging together.
The door is pushed inward, the light blinding them, and a voice calls out, “Move aside!”
They do, and a beam of energy lances into the nearest body, it vanishes from existence. A woman stands in the doorway, covered from head to toe in blood and wearing a lab coat. She holds a large energy weapon that fires the blue beams that makes the creatures vanish. Alexia drops Scott's body as they run out of the shelter. The woman takes out a small welding device and welds the door shut.
Alexia asks if the woman works for her and she clubs her with the butt of her gun. Alexia tells her she's fired and then asks how the woman's gun is still working. She says that she reconfigured it after the EMP blast then introduces herself as Linda “Maverick” Bellows, she was a pilot before she worked here.
Lilibet cries about her family and Mandi asks whether it's safe here.
“This is about as good as it gets,” Maverick tells them, “Everyone's...they're all...”
“You mean, in the building, they're all like this?” Mandi asks.
“I haven't been able to contact anyone on the outside, including my husband. The man you,” Maverick points the gun at Alexia, “sent to the west coast.”
“It can't have spread that far so fast,” Alexia protests. “We just have to get out of the range of that EMP bomb, or whatever that was, and we will be connected again.”
“This is your fault. You had a chance. They warned us. My husband called me and said that he passed on the information to you that Kolob warned us. And said if we handed things over to them, all this could've been avoided. But you went ahead anyway, and now my husband is gone, and somehow a storm made it across the country in two days,” Maverick accuses.
“Listen, I'm probably the only one who can get us all out of this. So let's just work together, no more hostilities...”
Maverick shoulders the energy rifle and says, “Or I could help.”
The group seems more on board with Maverick's help than Alexia's.
“Are we talking about everyone with bio in the building? In Chicago?” Kurt asks Maverick.
“We lost connection with everyone on the outside the moment that blast went off. I haven't been able to contact anyone, get any news feeds, I tried rigging a short wave communicator but ran out of luck. I noticed a large heat signature in the basement and came to check it out. I assume what's happening down there is the same thing that happened upstairs.
“Everyone with any sort of biotech, and luckily the military wanted me clean for space travel, but everyone else, the second that wave went out, just hit the ground. Until they started getting back up, I barely made it down here.” Maverick tells them.
“Are they getting back up to kill? Are they getting back up to go somewhere?” Kurt stammers out.
“I think it is safe to assume that whatever this is, whatever we unleashed, has no value for human life whatsoever and will stop anyone that gets in their way.” Maverick tells them.
Lilibeth begins to hyperventilate and drops to her knees. Maverick goes over and puts a hand on her back and then addresses Alexia again, “I need to know if there is anything outside my clearance level, that could stop this. Or did you just keep blindly moving forward?”
“It wasn't supposed to wake up yet. Somebody...I don't know what happened. It got out of our control and...it was supposed to help humans, not do this.” Alexia tells her.
“I think that the 'helping humans' line was something that we just told ourselves so we could sleep at night.” Maverick says, “We'd read the scriptures, we've explored this things past. We know that whatever we dug out of the ice murdered dozens of people.”
“But we had it under control,” Alexia protests, “It was foolproof.”
“Apparently not.” Maverick shrugs.
“Then we hide. Wait this out and let mother nature take it's course and then we rebuild...” Alexia says.
As she says this the group hears the building groan as it sways back and forth. Through all the commotion they failed to hear the churning wind of the storm outside until right now. They hear the building move and creak in the devastating winds.
Lilibet freaks out and Maverick steps in again to calm her down. Kurt offers Lilibet some happy pills and she takes them. Maverick talks to Lilibet calmly and Lilibet tells her about her sister, brother in law and mother being in the theater. Maverick tells them that she hasn't checked the theater yet. She also gives the others a warning:
“Nothing in this building is safe right now, I've probably got twenty more charges with this,” she hefts the energy weapon, “but it comes at a risk. I think it is important for you to understand that what we are dealing with isn't...we don't fully understand what it can do or what it will do. This is alien technology that is somehow connected to mysterious elements in our universe that we don't fully understand and it often leads to very...unpleasant side effects. I activated and re-calibrated it at a risk. It operates off of the tech we developed from the same thing that is inside their bodies.” Maverick informs them.
“What do you mean by risk? Is it because you don't really understand it?” Mandi asks.
“It depends on what you believe, and right now I'm starting to believe everything.” Maverick answers.
Alexia suggests going somewhere that didn't get biotech, an island or something. Kurt suggests they arm up and Maverick leads them out with an: “As long as you understand the risks.”
As they walk, the lights continue to flicker and they can hear the storm raging against the metal sheeting around the building. As they enter the main lobby, they see blood on the ground, the storm outside is so loud that they have to shout into each others' faces to be understood at all.
Maverick asks Lilibet, “Where?” and she points out the theater entrance. They see more and more blood as they move on, streaks lead toward the main doors and the sheets of metal there have large indentations in them, as if something was trying to punch its way out. Maverick makes her way over to the theater doors, they are locked and the electronic systems are smashed to pieces. Lilibet wants to try to get in, but the others drag her to the stairway for a conversation.
As they talk, Maverick hears something upstairs, the sound of wind blowing through the building. They assume the man from the roof has gotten in somehow. Alexia gives Lilibet her knife for protection and Lilibet's second personality, Margo, comes out. She seems much more capable than Lilibet.
A door thumps open upstairs and Maverick shushes them as footsteps sound on the stairway.
“There's a rhythm,” Maverick whispers, “They sound human. Very slow, they may be injured.”
“Does your...gun? Do I call it a gun?” Mandi asks.
“It's an interdimensional transport device, it removes whatever it's pointed at through space and time.” Maverick tells them.
Alexia panics and runs for her private washroom on the sixth floor, she sees a face peer at her from the railing above as she enters the sixth floor. She shuts the door behind her and the face of the man she put on ice drives her to jam it shut with a chair. She is unable to find one before the door bursts open.
“Bunny, darling, I'm so glad you're safe,” Alexia says softly, placatingly, “We were so worried about you.”
“Who the f*** are you? What year is it? And where am I?” he asks. Bunny's body is soaking wet, the cryo-chamber he was kept in was knocked offline by the EMP.
“It is 2218, and I saved your life. You're alive.” Alexia says.
“The last I remember, it was 2101, the Alps.” He looks at her, “You can't be around me, it's not safe.”
As she lies to him about children being here, trying to get him to leave, his eyes turn jet black and a cry of inhuman pain escapes his lips. “What is...something's not right...something's here. What did you do? What did you do?!” his voice is a mix of human and inhuman. As Alexia places a hand on his shoulder, the Blood underneath his other shoulder breaks free from the skin and he pushes Alexia away. “What did you do? It's calling...close the loop...close...close the loop,” his eyes return to normal and he stumbles against the wall.
“Who are you?” he asks again.
“I'm your friend,” she murmurs.
He grabs Alexia by the neck, holding her up against the wall, “You are not my friend. Who are you and what did you do?”
“I saved your life!”
“I wanted to die!” he responds.
“It's one hundred years too late for that,” Alexia says, jamming her knife into his neck.
His body pushes the knife out of his neck, the Blood congealing around the blade and dropping it to the ground as the wound closes over.
“I have been trying to die and keep this f***in' thing inside me, now what did you do?” he repeats.
“I didn't do anything, I tried to save your life,” she says.
“I'm not the only one. I can feel it. It's calling, it won't shut. The f***. up!” his voice turns briefly inhuman before returning to normal as he asks, “What did you do?”
“We tried to use the alien DNA inside you. And we failed.”
Director Bunny punches a hole into the wall near Alexia's head and drops her to the ground before sinking himself, putting his head in his hands.
- GM: Please incorporate THIS somewhere in the episode (doesn't have to be right away). MaverickZeroXII (as Maverick) and Rex705 (as Rex) would like to join the madness.
Chapter 5 Edit
The others debate going after Alexia. Perhaps she knows of a way out of here, but Maverick knows she is a monstrous person: “That woman is vile. My husband was sent to negotiate some sort of barter, or something. They used this alien tech that we found, they called it Devina, as a guide. And it led us to a signal and this place called Kolob. And we were supposed to bring back whatever tech had sent out that signal. But my husband called and said we needed to stop what we were doing immediately, the fate of the world depended on it. We needed to bring everything we had to Kolob. She wouldn't listen. She ignored him and moved forward anyway and I haven't heard from him, and then the storm came, and the creature woke up. This is her fault nad I don't know if this is a bottle we can put the cap back on.” “Well what do we do next?” Margo/Lilibet asks.
“My only plan now is to survive,” Maverick says.
“Well if anyone has resources it's Alexia,” Kurt offers.
“And it's on the way to your lab,” Mandi adds.
“Just stay behind me,” Maverick says as they begin to head upstairs.
Director Bunny sits on the ground, breathing heavily. Alexia can see him growing larger, gaining mass with each breath in, then back to normal on the exhale.
“You need to destroy yourself for the good of everyone else on this planet,” Alexia tells him.
“I've been trying, for hundreds of years. That's where I was when you dug me up! Why do you think I was in the Alps? I was as far from humanity as I could get. And there's also a part of me here. You took my blood, created something. I can feel it calling me. It is here, in this building. If I can feel it, it can feel me. Now, I am not this...loud thing. So what else did you do?” he asks.
“You should go to it. Defeat it. Save humanity.” she tells Bunny.
“I'm doing everything in my power right now, to keep from devouring you. I stopped being human a very long time ago, and I've used every bit of myself to contain it and I often fail. I have killed hundreds of people. Devoured them and made them a part of myself.”
“If I were to lead you to more, could you save me?” Alexia asks, seeking to preserve herself.
“I don't want to be this,” he tells her.
“I can help you, I built this company from the ground up,” she says, “I have the technology. We can go back to the lab, we can fix this.”
“I can feel that this part of me you took is different now. I need you to tell me what else you did. This thing inside me, I used to spend my life researching it. It wants to be whole. Did you give it a chance to do that?”
“We made a clone of you. That's it.” She says.
“You're lying, I want you to tell me what else you put inside of that thing. It is much larger than I am and it is calling for me. And if it's calling for me it is calling for the others.”
“We might have found some other alien artifacts and tried to complete you. But it was for the good of humanity and I still believe you can be our savior.”
Bunny laughs, “Is that what you tell people? You dig up a psychopathic murderer and use his blood. Merge it with ancient artifacts that I know...what's this company? Syncroneity? I know you. Your company sent this blood to me in the first place. Destroyed me. My everything. Your company killed a lot of people to keep what I am, and what I originated from under wraps.”
“That was hundreds of years ago. That wasn't me.” Alexia assures him, “This company is purely humanitarian, we help people through cybernetics and genetic enhancements. So in a way you were quite useful. Your legacy is one of healing and hope and human technological advancement.”
“What do you know of the Devil? Hell is me. Hell is where I come from. What you know to be Hell, I know to be my past.” he snarls. “How have you made it this far with my blood, and not know where it comes from? Did you never stop to ask why?”
“Inconvenient truths are best ignored.”
“You've seen me. You've seen my blood in paintings, in dreams, in stories. Everything that makes me whole, every bit of myself that is spread across this world, is what inspired every dark thought you've ever had. Every dark thought humanity has ever had.” Bunny's voice is now inhuman most of the time, “And you just lit up a fire in the sky. The smoke signal to the heavens, find me here, rejoice! Close the loop. We can be together again! Let's do it everyone! Let's watch the world burn!”
“I don't believe in fairy tails. I believe in cause and effect. And right now you're just an effect of a mistake that my company made. And you will be dust again...” Alexia snarls. Bunny stands, rising over her, his body disassembles in front of her. The Blood shoots out in great spears, lancing into the walls and desks around them. His body is hangs in the air, held up by a web of the Blood.
“What do you know?” he asks.
“So you're saying you're the anti-Christ?”
“No.” He calmly starts to withdraw the Blood into himself, breathing deeply.
“Are you saying that thing is the anti-Christ?”
“Take me to your lab. I'm losing control, I need hypobromite. It's the only way I was able to calm the creature and keep it from assimilating. All it wants to do right now is take every fiber of your being and soak it into itself. And continue doing that until it has spread across this entire planet. That is what you have unleashed. Now, take me to your lab.”
As they open the door, they meet the others on their way up. To the rest of them Bunny looks like a very old, frail man. His skin sagging off of the bones, as if his human form is hundreds of years old but continuing to move on it's own.
As Maverick's finger tightens on the trigger of her gun, Alexia pushes the barrel of the gun down. “He's the only one who can save us from himself. You can't kill him I tried to stab him in the neck.”
“I'm not trying to kill him, I'm trying to send him to another dimension.” Maverick says.
“You can remove me from this earthly plane?” Bunny asks.
“There is no guarantee that this other plane is paradise.” Alexia says.
“I wish to do whatever it takes not to breathe another breath inside this hellish form.” Bunny assures her, as he walks toward Maverick, pulling the gun into his chest and pressing the trigger. Bunny vanishes.
As they take this all in, Margo recedes and Lilibet comes forth. They tell her that they decided the people in the theater, if any were left alive, were safer left locked in. The next step, they decide, is to send the Bunny clone to the other dimension as well. An inhuman wail from the bottom of the stairwell urges them to get moving and they rush up the stairwell. As they go, the orange glow of the creatures below raises along with them.
“Where's the nearest lab?” they ask Maverick, “Bunny said to use bromite.”
“Bromite, that makes sense, it's in immune cells. Maybe it's toxic to this creature. Uh, my lab! Ten more floors. Go go!”
They burst through the doors and immediately push lab equipment against them as a creature slams into the glass of the small window in the door, five eyes glare at them as the creature's jaw bone begins to remove itself from it's face as it lets out a wail.
A small voice calls out from within the lab, it's a small, older woman in a wet hooded trench-coat. She carries a brittle wooden cane. “I'm sorry I was looking for someone,” she says. Alexia draws her knife and the woman gestures, the knife flies from Alexia's hand and her arm is slammed into the wall and stuck there. The woman lifts her head, her hood falling back to reveal two glowing orange shards in her eye sockets.
Mandi starts to reason with the woman, explaining they were trying to escape some tech zombies.
“Ohh they don't want to hurt you,” the old woman coos, “they just want you to join them. Who called me? Someone called for me. Was it you?” she asks Alexia, letting her arm fall.
“It wasn't, I know who it was though. He's waiting for you. Would you like to join him?” Alexia says.
“You have a mouth,” the old woman smirks.
“I'm just trying to be helpful.” Alexia tells her.
“No, no I think it was you that called me. You see, you can't lie to me.”
“What are you?” Alexia asks.
“Who are you?” Mandi asks at the same time.
“It's not important. I've been waiting a very long time to come home. I feel closer now than ever before. You called me here, to this place. I can feel it.” The old woman's voice turns harsh, “But something's not right. It's bastardized, just like me. I'm beginning to believe we'll never be whole, not the way we once were.” Her voice softens again, “I'm excited though, I've never gotten to meet all my brothers and sisters before, except...” she sniffs, “I can smell her here.” She moves towards them, and everything in her path is swept aside, the old woman gets in Alexia's face. “Where is Devina?”
Maverick speaks up, “She sent her to Kolob.”
The old woman sweeps over to Maverick, “Sister...Devina. Who took her?”
Maverick mouths 'What do I do?' looking at the others.
“Who took my Devina? It's a shame she can't be here to meet all of our new brothers and sisters. It's been so long, and I can smell Devina here, feel her in my bones, she was here. Who took her?” the old woman asks.
Kurt looks around for any bromite, finding a syringe injector and some hypobromite.
Seeing this, Mandi calls out to her, “Mama,” she moves over to focus on Mandi, exposing her back to Kurt. Who takes the opportunity to attempt to inject her. He drives the bromite home, and she falls to the ground.
“Maverick, shoot that bitch!” Kurt calls out. She begins to slowly raise the gun and the woman turns to Kurt and begins to cackle. “Oh dear boy, you think you can hurt me...it won't be that easy.” Her hand comes up and Maverick's gun starts to crumple and is slung across the room. A needle lifts into the air and flies into Kurt's arm, he ducks behind a shelf and more needles slam into it.
Alexia tries to barter with the old woman, offering to help her find her 'sister' and end this.
“Let's be clear here, what do you mean by end this?”
“You and your kind leave our plane forever and go back to your own. You don't belong here, you're abominations.”
The old woman laughs again, “You kept us here, against our will. Held us. Used us for your own gain. You have to close the loop my dear. The only way through, to keep this from ever happening.” The lights stop flickering and the old drops to the ground, readjusts her poncho, and, summoning her cane to her hand, walks to the door and pushes the blockade aside. The door opens, the creatures outside part and October Eventide makes her way through them and up the stairs.
There is a pause and the creatures turn back to the room, calling out in their inhuman voices “Joooiiiinnnn uuuusssss.”
They slam the door closed and begin to block it again.
Alexia flashes back to her youth, 70 years ago, when her father would lock her in the closet. She would hear her parents shout and argue and she would feel powerless, she just had to sit there and feel much like she does now: helpless.
Mandi flashes back to a video she was filming about unfair treatment of tribes in the Congo. Her and two camera people were hiding from the secret police of the area. They were trapped in a tiny shelter until they almost died of dehydration. The stink, and the feeling of it, made her hate enclosed spaces and being trapped.
Mandi notices a set of eyes looking at her from inside a locker and hears a rustle as they vanish. Inside the locker is a man wearing a jumpsuit with the name Rex on it. He holds his hands up in a defensive posture and they coax him out. He's making hand gestures and they figure out he is mute and a janitor.
Maverick notices that Jason is missing and before they can look for him the building starts to shake and sway. Maverick tells them about old coal tunnels that run under Chicago and that a lot of the older buildings have entrances into them.
Margo comes out as Mandi suggests looking for a dumb-waiter to get into the basement.
“Lilibet must be incredibly stressed. I never come out more than once a day,” Margo says.
“Wait, wait. Lili gets stressed, you come out.” Maverick observes, “That creature said something about 'close the loop'.”
Margo says that Lilibet says something like that to keep her from taking over, something like 'the Gate, the Door, close the loop', but she doesn't know why Lili wouldn't want her to come out. When Lilibet was competing in a horsemanship contest, her horse broke both of its legs and Lili took it hard, causing Margo to manifest.
“Just a reaction to trauma? Nothing to do with ancient alien artifacts?” Maverick asks.
“Or an orange glow?” Mandi asks.
“Lilibet? Are you serious? Everyone knows her real name is Elizabeth, she just can't say it. That's why everyone calls her Lilibet, she's an idiot.” Margo tells them. Meanwhile, Mandi goes on the search for a dumb-waiter.
Alexia, feeling threatened, grabs Margo's hand and pins it to the wall with her knife. Margo recedes and Lilibet starts screaming, dropping to the floor and cradling her hand.
The others accuse Alexia of distracting them from asking her any question by casting suspicion on to Margo/Lilibet. Alexia asks Lilibet about Margo, who comes forward and breaks Alexia's nose with a right hook, then fades back into a screaming Lilibet. Maverick gets between the two of them and talks calmly to Lilibet, telling Alexia to shut up.
Mandi discovers a large freight elevator, with the ability to operate it manually, behind a wall after using liquid nitrogen and a fire extinguisher to break through it. They take the freight elevator down to search for the coal tunnels. As they descend they hear the inhuman cries from above, and some of the creatures tumble into the elevator shaft, smashing apart on impact.
They fashion a torch from one of the creature's arms and one of their jackets. The elevator arrives at the lobby and they search for an entrance to the underground. Alexia finds an oxygen tank nearby and breaks open the wooden floor of the freight elevator, as she does one of the creatures lands on top of her. Its biomass begins to wrap around her, she can feels its bones pushing against her rib cage, vicously craning is neck to move its face toward hers.
- Discovery: Maverick remembers the old Chicago coal tunnels that run under a lot of the old buildings and thinks this building might be connected to them
- History: Mandi witnessed a family member become obsessed with implanting bio-tech in search of perfection. She is disgusted with becoming like October, and will do anything to remain whole.
Chapter 6 Edit
Mandi takes the remains of the contents of the canister of liquid nitrogen she used earlier and splashes it across the creature. It hardens and Mandi kicks the creature to shatter it, Alexia feels a twinge of pain in her hip where the liquid nitrogen seeped through. Mandi and Kurt help her up and they follow Rex to a place he knows of where there might be an entrance to the underground. As they move through the lobby, they notice a hole that has been pushed from the outside in, and the wind howls as debris is pushed into the lobby. They look into the stairwell they went up earlier, the stairs are gone and the inside of the stairwell is blackened as if something made it's way up the shaft. Rex picks up a trash can and smashes open the tile floor, opening a trap door into a dark shaft with a ladder going down. Rex descends and Kurt starts to follow, when a voice says “Where do you think you are going?”
October Eventide stands on the other side of the lobby and a creature moves across the ceiling of the lobby. Its body is just flesh and muscle, blood like tentacles guide it down behind October where it stands, eight eyes staring at them over her shoulder. October's eye shards start to dim as the creature envelops her within itself. It grows larger and larger, screaming in agony, more of the zombie creatures come running from the lobby, and from the shelter, throwing themselves onto the growing biomass.
The biomass hits the ceiling of the lobby, now 40 feet high and still growing, cracks form along the ceiling and the group scrambles for cover. A large steel beam is ripped free of the ceiling by one of the creature's flailing limbs, separating the group. The creature, bathed in orange light, begins to push itself off of the ground, sending more debris tumbling toward the humans.
Maverick puts her arms over Lilibet and Kurt and they hunker down. Mandi and Alexia scramble for the ladder to the underground while the others will have to run around the beam first. The creature is taking on a humanoid aspect, but the arms are long tentacles, as it continues to grow it rips its way out of the building, the theater is crushed to rubble as the back half of the building is now open to the storm.
In this new debris the creature has created, Kurt sees a folder sticking out of a file cabinet, the folder has his father's name on it. Kurt pops a few pills and makes a bee line for the cabinet, narrowly avoiding death several times. Arriving at the cabinet, he sees a file with his name on it and snags it, then turns to run back to the tunnel.
Maverick gives Lilibet a pep talk and counts down, “Here we go in 3...2...” and before she can get to one, the tentacle of the creature wraps around Maverick's waist, hauling her away from Lilibet. In reaction, Lilibet, with a little help from Margo, holds on to Maverick tightly, noticing one of the other tentacles forming into a spear and Margo says “Stop.” Margo feels a strange flash, the world around her fades away, in front of her, Margo recognizes a feeling she doesn't understand. But she says “Stop,” again, and the tentacle drops Maverick. Margo hauls Maverick to her feet and they meet Kurt at the trap door.
The creature exits the tower on to South Wacker street, smashing into the buildings across from the tower.
As Mandi and Alexia climb down the ladder, Alexia admits to her that this might be her fault. “Let me save you,” Alexia says, kicking Mandi off the ladder and into Rex's waiting arms. Once they are all safely down into the underground area, things are much quieter, but they can still hear the creature moving down the street as dust drifts down from the ceiling.
Kurt convinces Alexia to go reason with the creature and the others carry on without her. While this is all happening Mandi flashes back to the last time she saw her mother. It was in the foyer of her mother's building because her mother wouldn't let her upstairs. Mandi's mother was berating her for being a guerilla film maker. She delivered the ultimatum to either change her ways, or never return.
Kurt, meanwhile is poring over the file he grabbed earlier. Kurt Wellington. Subject #2323. Kurt is a clone, his father lost a young son to cancer years ago and partnered with Synchroneity to take his son's DNA and enhance it to remove the cancer. Clone Kurt survived past the point where his predecessor died. Synchroneity held this to be a success, but Kurt's father contested this. He documented several changes in his son that he posits came from whatever Synchroneity put into the cloning process: an addictive personality, prone to violence. Within the folder he sees other subjects of his cloning trial group with similar side effects. Kurt's father was building a case to sue the company and the name Lilibet Becket appears on several documents as well, possibly displaying similar side effects.
Kurt flashes back to his early years, his father was a neglectful parent, running his business and all, his mother was a busy lawyer, often high on drugs. He took out his feelings of abandonment on his mother, slipping a little something extra into her daily drug cocktail that lead to her death. He has been avoiding these demons through mood enhancers and relaxants. Kurt then pulls Margo aside and shows her the files. Margo sees all the horrible things that Kurt has done over the years, documented by his father, including the death of his mother. She also sees Lilibet's name, along with her father's: Lilibet Becket. Test subject #2721. Lilibet is also a clone, but these sheets hold no information on the real Lilibet or why this Lilibet was cloned.
Margo goes back in her mind, trying to pinpoint the moment she came into being. No one else in the family ever mentioned the equestrian incident, maybe Lilibet's therapist lied to her, maybe Henry Becket knew more than he let on.
A rotten egg odor begins to fill the tunnel they stand in, Rex pulls out a hand lamp and shines it around. The tunnel is a long straight line into darkness, but, to quote Kurt, they ain't going back up there.
Except for Alexia, as Rex mimes to the others that his light won't last long while they walk off, she climbs the ladder and pushes away some debris. She walks out of the building into the storm, she cannot see the monster through the winds and debris, bodies line the streets. She also sees people who did survive the blast, but are no longer human, running after the monster, wanting to become a part of it.
Alexia begins to move in the same direction, trying to avoid the notice of the non-humans, as she tracks after the monster. She uses a trash can lid to protect her face as she limps, bleeding from her wound, down the street. Slowly but surely catching up with the monster. The creature is now taller than the buildings it walks among, it pushes them aside as it walks. The air above its head swirls with blackness, it and the storm are one, as Alexia arrives in the eye of the storm a calmness descends.
She attempts to get the creature's attention, “Hey! Heeeeeey!!”
At first, it does not respond, as several of the smaller creatures run out from the surrounding buildings, swirling around the large creature's feet, staring at Alexia. She notices movement on the giant's heel, a kind of tear forms in its flesh and the clone of director Bunny strides out, a suit forming upon his body as he walks.
“Ms. Martin,” he says, “it's a pleasure to finally meet you.”
“Listen, I'm not long for this world and you know that. I just ask that, as somebody who helped create you...”
“You created nothing,” he interrupts, “But an abomination.”
“Be that as it may, I ask you to, let me...”
“You can ask nothing of me,” he interrupts again, “Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. You've spent a life in power. Here you have none. You ask nothing, you can beg all you like.”
“If not somebody who can be your equal, because I am not, at least let me be a part of this. Absorb me, take me with you. Please,” she begs.
“Ms. Martin, I think you over estimate your value. Why do you think you matter?”
“I don't, but this is my fault, so let me see it through. What use is there for me to die in a cave with some strangers who hate me?”
“I think we need to set some base line understanding of our current situation. You,” he pauses for effect, “are completely irrelevant. Merely a pause, a curiosity. The closer I get to my original form, the more I understand. I do not care to, or want to, but it could be useful to keep this from happening again. This moment, right now, I will most likely forget it because you don't matter.”
“You say that, yet, instead of killing me instantly, you took the time to create a form to speak to me like a human. Which shows that, one: somewhere deep down inside your monstrous body there is a part of you that acknowledges my importance in this. And two: there is a part of you that is still human, be it as little as it may.” she tells the clone.
“Human,” it repeats, “human, human. This abomination. You brought this on yourselves. We wanted nothing more than to live, as all things, as you do. That I can relate to. To be whole, to be one. Curious, yes. What use are you to me? To us? To the future?”
“Maybe I don't serve any purpose. But I humbly ask that instead of wasting the carbon matter, the energy that I am, the 80 years of creating and building which ultimately led to this. Instead of just snuffing it out like a candle, let me be part of the end that I created.” she finishes.
“Fair enough,” he turns, walks back into the larger creature, and she can hear his laughter as the being moves off again, leaving her there in the midst of the destruction and decay.
Alexia Martin slumps into the street, letting her mask fully fall away for the first time, and lays in the street, waiting, hoping, to die.
- Feeling: Because Maverick has been taking care of them, helping them, Lilibet is growing to rely on her when Margo isn't around. And Margo is proving her worth and courage to Maverick.
- Feeling: The scale of Synchroneity's failure is cracking Alexia's stoic facade, she's beginning to feel like this is a hopeless situation.
- GM: Kurt always felt out of place, but never knew why. His father did. After his real son died, he sought out Synchroneity to clone Kurt. The imperfect tech resulted in an addictive personality and a genetic marker which may be detectable by the creature.
- GM: Hydrogen sulfide gas is slowly leaking into the mine. Smells of rotten eggs. Symptoms in increasing order are eye damage, sense of smell going away, strong stimulation of central nervous system, rapid breathing, death. Increase at your leisure.
Chapter 7 Edit
Underground, the others continue walking, searching for another way out. They notice Alexia is missing and don't much care. Their vision starts to get blurry and Maverick's head is spinning. Mandi grabs the light from Rex and they all run through the tunnel, their vision getting worse and worse, they hear the booming steps of the creature above. Their vision gets darker and darker as Mandi is pushed over the brink of madness.
Chapter 8 Edit
The others catch up to Mandi, finding her hunched over the light, muttering to herself, and weeping. Maverick tells them that she can no longer feel the left side of her face. Mandi, shouting about how there is no end, throws the light further down the tunnel. Margo hauls Maverick along and Kurt picks Mandi up as they chase the light. They hear a thud behind them, Maverick has collapsed and Rex is nowhere to be seen. Margo tries to rally Maverick but Maverick can no longer see. Maverick's eyes grow dim and lose focus.
Chapter 9 Edit
As they look down at Maverick's body, the three of them start to feel a tingling numbness stealing into their limbs. Mandi shouts that she's found a grate, Kurt discovers that it is real and they wrench it free, leaping down the hole into rushing water. They are bashed around and swept along by the flow of water until they pop out of a drain pipe downtown. In the distance, lightning illuminates a silhouette of a giant figure. Smaller figures join up with it and lightning strikes it, it's body taking in that energy to grow. Mandi mutters about the end of the world. Kurt and Margo take their mad friend with them into the nearest home. They can feel each step of the creature even though it is over a mile away. Kurt takes some drugs and, as they enter his system, he looks out a window and feels a calm wash over him. His vision tunnels on the creature, he recognizes its pulse, the orange glow pulses from the creature in time with his heart. He sees the creature in the distance turn toward him, one of its tentacles lifts and comes down hard, sending a wave of destructive force in their direction.
Kurt looks down at his hands, seeing the veins in his arms match the pulse of the creature's energy.
Ten feet away Mandi grabs Lilibet by the wrists and shakes her hands back and forth, staring at them intently “You're glowing!” Mandi giggles, seeing the same orange energy pulsing in Lilibet.
Kurt opens his mouth to say he recognizes this energy when the wave of destructive energy rips through the wall where Kurt was standing, showering the women with debris where they were hunched deeper within the house.
Chapter 10 Edit
The two women look up from their cowering to see pieces of debris and pieces of Kurt strewn about the room. Margo still sees the orange pulses travel through her arms, Mandi suggests she bring back Lilibet, perhaps this is only happening to Margo. Lilibet returns and reacts in horror to the orange glow and grisly scene before her. Lilibet slowly feels a sense of calm come over her, looking out at the destruction outside. Mandi scuttles about looking for a dumbwaiter to take them outside where they'll 'warn the world.'
Lilibet starts to repeat her mantra to her self, “The Gate, the door, Lili, the Gate, Margo, the Loop. The door, the Gate, the loop, the door, the Gate, the loop..,” as she continues to mutter she feels for the first time in her life that Margo and Lilibet are one. “We should run, we should stay, we should his, no, we should fight, the door, the Gate.”
Mandi sees a door under some steps at the end of a long, dark hall begin to open. One of the smaller creatures begins to crawl from within, it appears to be the remains of the family that once lived here. Lilibet doesn't seem to see any of it.
However, at the brink of madness, Lilibet/Margo hear Mandi mutter 'Behind,” and Margo turns, puts out her hand and says, “Stop.” It does, seeming to wait for a command, like a lost dog, not necessarily meeting its owner, but recognizing a command it should obey. Margo says, “Shoo,” and, seeing the creature begin to obey, Margo takes Mandi's hands as they begin to back away. However, several more of the creatures begin to emerge, staring at Lilibet curiously. Lilibet tells Mandi to run as she keeps the creatures at bay.
Mandi leaves, seeing more and more of the creatures emerging from the wreckage, seeming to communicate with each other, she also sees the massive creature turn it's gaze upon the building she just left. She heads to the only other place she knows in the city, the hotel she was staying at, where she left the rest of her broadcasting gear, perhaps she can still get a message out, what little remains of her sanity tells her. She takes the stairway up to her room, the door hangs off of the hinges. She goes inside to her kit and starts to record a message to her mother and her agent, “I'm not going to make it out this time, I'll try but it's not like the other times. I'll try to find a way to get this out, to upload it...”
The camera pans out on a mad woman, speaking to an inanimate object, desperately trying to get out a doomsday message to those she cares about, in her hand a stuffed bunny is clutched to her.
Backing away from the creatures. Lilibet feels an enormous step land behind her. Her hand is now a bright orange, she can see the bones and veins within. Long tentacles lower around her, creating an orange cathedral around her, a figure steps out of the mass: it wears the form of Henry Becket.
“You will never feel whole, have never felt hole,” it tells her, “your kind...identifies us as evil. We find that to be...ignorant. We did not take a part of ourselves and create you. Your kind did that. Your people. This form. How is that not evil? How are we at the hands of your destruction in our peaceful existence? Unaware of your kind. Alone in the universe. How are we to blame for this. You have always felt something missing. Denied a part of you, because you belong with us.”
“What about everyone else?” Lilibet asks shakingly.
“All the people?” Margo adds, firm.
“We don't care.”
“What do you want then?” Lilibet.
“What do you want with her?” Margo.
“With who?” it asks.
“We're giving you an opportunity to be whole again.”
“I was whole when I was with my family, you took that away from me,” Lilibet says.
“No, you weren't...” the creature counters.
“They loved me, w-whatever that...”
“Whatever that means, whatever that is, doesn't matter to us, and that means to a part of you as well.”
“What happens to us if I join you? If we...”
“Oh, see I'm not talking to you, or you.” the creature tells Lili and Margo, “This isn't a discussion, it is a reclamation. We are collecting. You are not whole, a part of you wishes to be, we can feel it. Where they took me, to make you. And I'm just letting you know we'll be taking that back.”
In that moment, within a flash, Margo and Lilibet cease to exist as the body that contained them is ripped apart a molecular level. The Blood that was contained within the body is reclaimed by the creature before it moves on.