All I heard was the crackling from the fire and electric attacks that Lucas and Ness had thrown at me.
After a moment of the constant crackling, I looked over at Lucas and Ness.
“Why haven't you killed me?” I asked them.
“We weren't going to kill you,” they said in unison.
“We just wanted to see what you would do,” Ness said.
“Haven’t either of you had enough yet?” I asked them.
“Not quite,” Lucas said smiling.
“If you want to kill me, you might as well do it now,” I said lowering my head.
“What makes you say that?” Ness asked.
“There’s no point in continuing on knowing what is to come,” I said with remorse in my voice.
Silence came over us.
All I could hear is the blood dripping from the walls as well as the crackling from the two energy balls.
I knew the scientists were watching, but I didn’t know how they could see the battles since there were no windows or stairs leading to other rooms. The hallways between each room had no other doors that could possibly lead to another room or hide another hallway that would lead to another room.
I couldn’t make since of it all. None of it made any since. How could there be other rooms without any signs of other passage ways? Who were these scientists? Why were they doing this to me? Was it Lucas and Ness that were behind all of this? Could they have locked me into a coma to where they want me to think that the reality I was once in a fake?
There were so many questions running through my mind that I wanted answered. All of these questions I didn’t understand myself.
“What is it that you want from me?” I finally asked breaking the silence.
“We want to test your…abilities, to see if you can beat us,” Ness replied.
“We have always been aware of your skills, Fox,” Lucas said.
“You have always been on our target list to see how well you could handle situations,” Ness said. “We know what you have done in the past and want to see if you can figure out how to get out of different scenarios based on various tactics you have done.”
“If you pass all of our trials, you can return to living the way you were before,” Lucas said. “Living a life of collecting bounties, upgrading your ships; that’s the life you have been living for a number of years.”
It was at this point that the energy balls dissipated and the only sounds in the room were the sounds of the blood dripping from the walls and the sounds of our breathing.
“Why is it that you choose me and not somebody else?” I asked them.
“You have a unique talent that most other people don’t have,” Ness said.
“We wanted to use your talents to see if you can pass our tests,” Lucas said.
I took a moment to think about if what they are saying is true. All of the missions that I have been on throughout the years, maybe it was something to do with the missions that I had been on were bringing out something that I did not know about.
I could still smell the decay of bodies that lined the walls. The smell itself was still overwhelming and at times it felt like I was going to pass out as well as it making me nauseous.
“Why are my talents so important?” I finally asked breaking the silence.
“We wanted to see if the legendary Fox McCloud can overcome the challenges we had in store,” they said in unison.
That’s when the room grew darker, the smell grew more potent, and the gravity felt heavier than usual.
I dropped to one knee panting. I tried my best not to breathe through my nose as it would cause me to feel nauseous and eventually would pass out from the smell itself.
With what little light there was, I could see the decaying bodies start to move and stand up.
‘This isn’t good,’ I thought.
“What’s the matter?” asked Ness.
“Can’t keep yourself composed?” asked Lucas.
The gravity intensified even further forcing me onto my hands and knees. I could feel the bloody floor on my hands and knees. I began to pant as the gravity put even more pressure onto my body, as well as it began to heat up in the room.
Looking at the ground, I could tell the blood covered floor seemed to be high enough to cover my entire hand, yet shallow enough to be able to walk through.
I could hear the creaking bones of the decaying bodies as they began to stand up. I could already hear some footsteps splashing in the distance as some were coming closer.
Slowly, the footsteps came closer, and at this point some of the bodies around were already up and moving towards me.
‘I…got…to move…’ I thought to myself.
I could hear the splashing from the footsteps as some of the closer bodies began to start to move.
Slowly, I began to force my body up, even with the gravity intensified. It was difficult to move in these kinds of conditions and not dying from these creatures wouldn’t be easy.
That’s when I heard a new set of footsteps. It sounded heavier than the decaying bodies but lighter than the creature that I once saw. It didn’t seem like there were any other bodies in the room when we first entered.
The footsteps grew louder as it slowly came into view. From what I could tell, this new body seemed to be at least six, maybe seven feet tall and had long arms and what seemed to be stitches the connected the arms at the shoulders, elbows, hips and the knees. From the elbows down, it seemed that it grew wider as if there was something in them. There were some stitches on the abdomen that connected the stomach portion of the body to the rest of the body. The arms itself extended down to the ground and the face extended out farther that a normal face should, which looked like lips. Yet the color of the body, from what I could tell in the dim light, seemed to be a brownish color with dried blood spots across the body.as well as blood dripping from its arms.
At this point, I was somewhat hunched over still panting from the intense gravity. I forced myself to walk through the blood covered ground, slowly making my way over to this new creature, which hopefully would be slow enough for me to move around it. I could feel the blood drip from my hands with each passing step. The decaying bodies on the other hand seemed to be just as slow as I was.
‘I might be able to escape before I am killed,’ I thought. ‘All I have to do is watch their movement and dodge accordingly and as early as possible.’
I knew I was in a bad situation. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take before passing out and eventually being devoured alive by these…things, these…creatures that I have never seen before. Where these from past experiments that failed to make it out alive? Were the other living beings that were taken from families to be tortured? Are they even humans? Or are they just poor animals that were forced into this kind of situation?
I slowly walked towards Lucas and Ness.
“Why are you doing this?” I asked panting.
I stumbled and fell into the blood covered floor. Slowly, I pushed myself to my hands and feet. I could feel the blood on my body as well as through my wet clothing. That threw me over the edge causing me to vomit.
It took me a minute or two to catch my breath.
“What’s the matter Foxy boy? Can’t keep your lunch down?” Lucas asked tauntingly.
“Shut up,” I said quietly.
I’m not sure how long it has been since I last ate nor do I know how much time has passed since the start of this experiment.
I used the back of my hand to wipe the side of my mouth.
“How is it that the two of you aren't affected by the intense gravity?” I asked them.
“We trained ourselves to withstand this kind of pressure,” Ness said.
“As for you, you don’t seem like you can manage for much longer,” Lucas said coming closer.
With what little strength I had, I threw myself at him only to watch him fly back outside of my reach.
“That’s not going to get you anywhere,” he said as I dropped to one knee.
Even though the gravity was intense, I still managed to get back onto my feet and slowly began to walk closer to them. The decomposed skeletons that were in the room were slowly getting closer as I neared Lucas and Ness.
‘The bodies aren’t my main priority,’ I thought to myself. ‘I got to be careful of the monster.’
With each passing step, I could feel my chest burn as I took a breath.
Lucas and Ness nodded to each other as I looked up at them. I knew that I would be taken down soon, but at the same time, I wanted to stay alive as long as I could.
With each passing moment, it meant a moment closer to me either living or dying here. I wanted to be able to return to my own life even if it meant coming close to death and facing yet another challenge.
“Are you going to fight me or not?” I asked panting.
“Only if you can beat the creatures in this room,” Ness said.
I watched them as they floated away into the darkness.
Looking around, I could tell that the bodies were already forming a circle.
‘There has to be some sort of weapon nearby that I can use,’ I thought.
Taking a step back, I felt my foot bump into something.
Looking down, I could faintly see something glimmering in the blood infested water. Still facing forward, I knelt down and placed my hand into the blood and felt around for it. Not long after, I found it and gripped it to make sure it was a solid object and not some trick. Sure enough, I could tell that it was a metal pipe.
‘How did I not bump into this when I was walking?’ I asked myself. ‘In any case, this will have to do.’
I knew the odds of me surviving were slim, but I to try. Forcing myself up again, I brought the metal pipe in front of me and grabbed it with my other hand. Each of my hands were placed a few inches from each end as though it were a staff.
‘This brings back memories of when I first encountered General Scales back on Dinosaur Planet,’ I thought to myself. ‘Without the staff I used then, I still remember all the tricks that I learned back then. I might be able to use them to my advantage.’
I waited for one of the corpses to attack first. It would take every ounce of my strength to be able to maneuver my body in any direction as fast as I normally would in combat.
It wasn’t long before I heard footsteps behind me to move. Slow at first, but it began to pick up speed.
Trying to react as fast as I could, I turned around and slid my hand down as I rammed the metal pipe into the corpses’ chest and threw it into the ground.
Blood splashed as it hit the ground.
I began to pant from the maneuver.
‘This is going to be tough,’ I thought.
I watched it stand up.
“What?” I said in disbelief as I took a small step back. “That can’t be~!”
It charged at me once more. This time I brought the pipe up to head level and rammed it into its head. Feeling the weight of the body on the pipe, I turned and used the pipe to throw it down on the ground.
‘That should take care of it,’ I thought.
It got up once more.
‘There is no way it can stand up like that,’ I thought to myself. ‘Especially after two fatal blows.’
I heard another set of footsteps come at me. I turned, rammed the pipe into the chest cavity and brought it to the ground.
‘Whenever I take it down, it just gets back up,’ I thought panting. ‘There has to be a way to kill these things. Plus the intense gravity is taking a toll on my body.’
I watched as the body slowly got back up to its feet.
Using only my head, I looked around at the rest of the corpses. They all looked the same. Rotting flesh, muscles, bones, missing limbs; I couldn’t see any clear distinction between them.
‘Someone or something is controlling them,’ I thought. ‘But who?’
Looking back at the two corpses, they were already on their feet again.
I heard footsteps from behind me. Turning around I saw that one had its arms out and was going to grab me. I waited until the last second and sidestepped out of the way. I watched as the body stumbled forward and fell face first onto the ground.
Not wanting to wait around for it to get back up, I started look around again to see if I could find an opening to slip through. I couldn’t tell if one side had more of these creatures or if they had less. The room seemed to give the illusion that there were hundreds of them, yet it seemed there were only a few of them in the room.
‘Odds are, the giant creature is controlling them, or those kids are controlling them,’ I thought. ‘I’ll try the giant creature first to test out one theory.’
Slowly, but surely, I made my way towards the creature. Each step I took made it harder to breath and the burning sensation in my chest became worse. I knew it wouldn’t be much longer before something bad would happen; I wasn’t sure when it would happen.
One by one, the creatures came at me only to be taken down. I used the methods I could do at the moment; either ramming the pole into the chest cavity or through the head. It bought me some time to get close enough to the creature but at the same time I tried my best to conserve as much strength as possible when I fought the being at hand.
Without any warning, a path cleared up in front of me leading me straight to the creature I wanted to battle.
‘Somethings not right,’ I thought. ‘Normally it wouldn’t be this easy.’
The creature and I stood there for a moment as though we were sizing each other up.
‘This is going to take every ounce of my being take him down,’ I thought. ‘I just hope I have enough strength left to be able to finish the fight and move on to the next room.’
The monster began the attack by raising one of its arms above its head.
I did my best to jump as the monsters arm swung down.
Landing only feet away, I stumbled a bit and managed to get my balance. It was then that I dropped to one knee panting from exhaustion.
‘I can’t keep this up,’ I thought to myself. ‘I have to find its weak point and fast.’
It took the monster a moment to be able to return to its normal position.
‘I might be able to damage it,’ I thought. ‘I just have to time my movement just right to get a hit on it. But where to hit it?’
As the monster turned to face me, I examined its body to find any weak points.
‘I’ll give a few jabs at its chest cavity to see if I can weaken it,’ I thought.
After a moment, I finally caught my breath and regain some strength to be able to stand up. We stood there waiting for the other to make the first move. It raised arm again. I jumped just enough to the right to be able to ram the pipe straight through the heart. I knew that there wasn’t a heart within the body, but it was worth a shot. I withdrew the pipe and took a few steps back to give myself some distance; I knew it was risky staying within range of the monster.
‘Hopefully I can get a few more hits on it,’ I thought. ‘I might be able to puncture the rib cage. That should do some major damage.’
Slowly, but surely, I got back into position to where I knew I could dodge in time, yet at the same time, I could land a hit.
Looking around, none of the creatures in the room seemed to interrupt the fight, yet they made a circle around us. With the creatures surrounding us, I knew there would be no escape, especially in the condition I was in. The only thing I could do was focus on the fight at hand and attempt to defeat whatever this creature was.
It wasn’t long before the creature made its move. It brought up its arm and began the decent to where I had just enough to dodge and ram the pipe into the chest cavity and retracted it before it raised its other arm into the air. I jumped back as to not get hit by its arm.
There was enough distance between me and the creature to where I could take a step or two and ram the pipe into its chest cavity once more. Without any hesitation, I did just that and took the two steps to ram it into the chest cavity.
I retracted the pipe once more and rammed it once more into the chest cavity. This time I hit a crucial point on the chest to where it stumbled back. I knew that this would be my chance and with every stumble it took, I rammed the pipe into the chest cavity at around the same area I made the first hit. But with each hit I made, it took a toll on my body. I could feel my strength slowly fade away followed by my breathing beginning to become faster and the burning sensation in my chest to burn even more with each passing breathe.
‘I can’t hold out much longer,’ I thought. ‘If I give out now, I won’t be able to survive the hit. This has to end soon.’
With what little strength I had, I rammed the pipe as hard as I could into the creatures chest and watched it stumble back and fall onto its back.
Hunched over, I panted from exhaustion and the burning sensation in my chest only made things worse. I watched as the creatures in front of me drop to the ground as well as I felt the gravity become lighter and the hot air becoming cooler with each breath I took. The light in the room began to return to normal and I could finally see how big the room was.
From where I was standing, I could hear the sounds of a metallic door opening in the distance. I knew this could be my escape and be able to live another day.
“It’s over,” I said aloud still panting.
I stumbled over to the wall at the other end of the room and out of exhaustion leaned up against it to catch my breath as well as to regain my strength. I let go of the pipe since it would be useless to me now.
Slowly but surely, my breathing began to slow alongside the burning sensation in my chest began to subside. I couldn’t help but smile as I overcame one of the toughest challenges I faced.
Once I regained my strength, I pushed myself off the wall and went through the door, which then led me into a hallway. I took a few steps and examined the hallway, which looked like any other hallway. The hallway was made out of cement with torches that lit the way to the next area. At this point I could still feel the remnants of blood dripping off of my hands as well as part of my pants still being soaked from the fight. The blood by my mouth seemed to be dry at this point, which was typical since the heat from the air, as well as me panting a lot, helped speed up the process of it drying in such a short amount of time.
I took my time down the hallway as to let my body temperature to drop back to normal. Since I was a fox, I didn’t have the necessary sweat glands to expel my body heat. The only way for me to reduce my body temperature was through breathing as well as my paws.
The dimly lit hallway gave it the appearance that I was in some sort of castle even though I woke up in some sort of cell.
‘I wonder how long these torches have been lit,’ I thought to myself. ‘I wonder if those kids have something to do with this.’
The long hallway gave me time to think through what I had learned from when I started all of this until now.
‘Let’s see, it started with me being in another world which I had gotten a message from Lucas and Ness, which then led to that creature and the murder of innocent people. Eventually it found me and caused me a bit of trouble which I awoke up in this place only to be told it was all a lie, a false reality,’ I thought to myself. ‘But what about the kid that I met in the other world? Was he fabricated as well? And all those blackouts I had, where they just telling me it was time to wake up? Then I wake up in this place and have to survive this torture by those kids and whatever those creatures were.’ I put my hands in my pockets. ‘There’s something I’m missing. But what is it that I am missing? Those kids are hiding something but what are they hiding and how are they this good to come up with something like this?’
It didn’t occur to me until now that the hallway didn’t seem to end.
‘There’s got to be an end to this hallway,’ I thought. ‘I’ve been walking for some time.
At this point, my body temperature was back to normal and the burning sensation in my chest became a dull pain. My strength, on the other hand, hadn’t quite returned and was still somewhat weak from the battle.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, cleared my thoughts, and listened. To my surprise, I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary. All I heard was the crackling of the fire from the torches.
‘I’ll walk a little further to see if I can find anything,’ I thought. ‘There might be a hidden doorway somewhere.’
Placing my hand on the wall, I began to feel for anything out of the ordinary. All I felt was the smooth surface of the wall. Not really sure what I was looking for, I kept my hand on the wall. It wasn’t long until I felt the wall depress slightly. I had to take a step back to make sure I wasn’t feeling things. Sure enough, the wall depressed and a hidden door opened up and presented a hallway.
‘So this is how they were getting from place to place without me noticing,’ I thought. ‘I wonder if they also used this kind of trick to be able to study my battles.’
I cautiously entered the narrow hallway, which was followed by the door behind me closing. On instinct, I turned around to see the last remnants of the torches fade behind the door. Turning around again, I could see a dimly lit fire slowly approach from the far end of the hallway. I braced myself as it slowly neared me only to find out that it was the torches being lit on the walls. I relaxed once more and began my journey down the hallway.
‘There no different from the torches from the previous hallway,’ I thought.
I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be here of if the hallway I was last in was playing tricks on me until I found this path.
‘Hopefully this hallway isn’t as long as the last hallway,’ I thought. ‘Maybe this will lead to somewhere.’
Other than the crackling from the torches, I stayed alert made my way down the dimly lit hallway.
I’m not sure how long it was until I reached the end of the hallway, but it led me to what seemed to be an observation room. It seemed like any other observation room, a single view window, a table with a computer and a microphone hooked up to the computer, and two chairs to accompany all of this.
‘So this is how they study the battles,’ I thought. ‘I wonder if it is like this in every observation room; if so, are all the computers hooked up to one another throughout this place?’
Not really sure what to expect, I kept my guard up as I continued to examine the room. Other than what was already in the room, it seemed like any other observation room you would see now-a-days.
Not finding anything else, I turned to leave only to find Lucas and Ness floating in midair by the door.
“Aaahhh!” I said in shock as I stumbled back. “Where did the two of you come from?!” At this point I was trying to calm myself. “Are the two of you trying to give me a heart attack?” I didn’t even hear them come in yet alone hear the door open.
“We followed you in,” Lucas said.
“We didn’t want to lose you,” Ness said.
“We’re surprised you made it this far,” they said in unison. “We never expected you to find the creatures’ weak spot. We're impressed.”
“How much longer are the two of you going to torture me like this?” I asked them.
“We have one more test for you,” Lucas said.
“And if you pass,” Ness said.
“You get to leave,” Lucas said.
“And if I fail?” I asked them.
“You die like everyone else before you,” they said in unison grinning evilly.
‘This isn't going to be easy,’ I thought. “What is the test?” I asked hoping they would answer.
“You should know,” Ness said.
“You faced it before,” Lucas said.
“You can’t be ser~?” I said in horror before I was cut off.
“We are,” they said in unison grinning evilly again.
“Good luck fighting it,” Ness said grinning.
“Don’t die,” Lucas said grinning.
“Have fun,” they said in unison grinning widely.
With that there was a blinding white light and the only thing I could do was cover my eyes.