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Chapter 661 – Boundless Origins – Hades
Today was the 16th of October, 2065. The First Inter-Player International Compet.i.tion had just ended, and the members of Umbra had come out of their pseudo-pods.
As Sublime Notion was having tea with King William and Deployed Soldier was being gunned down by Misery, a certain hooded fellow was walking along the streets of Neo-Manhattan.
It was currently daytime, and people were already moving up and down to fulfill their daily needs. For some reason though, the eyes of the normal person would slide off the hooded figure, otherwise many would point at him or take pictures for his weird sense of fas.h.i.+on.
Soon, the person stopped before a large cooperate building. It was a high-rise building, well styled and full of gla.s.s windows that had different holographic projections on them.
The hooded man gazed at the entrance of the company, a sliding door, then crouched. A black mist enveloped his body rapidly as he disappeared and reappeared within the building, the mist returning to his body as he stood up casually.
He looked left and right to see that the lobby was quite busy, with clients waiting in comfortable couches while being served tea and a receptionist fake smiling as she dealt with some idiot clients who couldn’t understand simple instructions.
The hooded man ignored all of this as he looked up, through the semi-transparent gla.s.s dome, to see four different elevators of dual lines going up and down to different floors as employees and clients moved about.
The hooded man seemed to identify his target and stepped into an elevator that was open. He then chose to go to the second-highest floor, where the Vice-President’s office was located.
Dainty elevator music played as he waited patiently to reach his destination, the elevator stopping many times to pick up different people up as it went higher and higher.
When it finally opened to the VP’s floor, the hooded man left the elevator, where he had not been noticed by the now 5 riders. They each looked at each other in confusion, wondering who called for this floor if no one was getting down?
The hooded man walked along the floor and went straight to the VP’s office, which was locked tight. He only transformed into black mist that actually wafted through the keyholes of the door, appearing on the other side.
There, he saw a well-ventilated and immaculate office room.
It was thickly carpeted and cool, with four conditioners managing the room’s ambient temperature. A couple of artistic and valuable paintings hung on the clean blue walls, as well as some flower pots here and there that added some aesthetics to the room.
There were two three-seater couches nearer to the door of the room, with a gla.s.s table between them. On the table were some sweets and two ashtrays as well.
Near the northernmost side of the room was a typical wide manager-style desk with a Holo-PC, a super printer and a hi-scanner on it. Various files and doc.u.ments were arranged neatly on the table, giving any onlooker the feeling that the one who worked here was quite busy. There was also a bookcase that stretched across the wall from behind the manager’s desk
In the huge black chair behind the table sat an average man of 5″11 who wore a black business suit and wore square-rimmed gla.s.ses. He had light brown eyes and dark black hair that was combed neatly and slicked with hair gel.
His skin tone was slightly reddish and his features were not much to look at, but he was not ugly. He was currently working on something with his Holo-PC, but the hooded man’s eyes narrowed.
At some point, the VP suddenly twitched as he made a weird sound, then struck under the table brutally. A pained cry of a woman was heard, as well as some sobs, before it was quietly stifled. Without superhuman senses, the ensuing slurping sounds would not be heard.
The hooded man hesitated, but approached the VP and stood behind him, waiting patiently. Eventually, the woman beneath the desk ‘finished’ her task and was sent out.
Her face was bruised, and her eyes were wet with tears. She was a young lady, probably barely 20 years of age. She had the badge of an intern, and she tidied herself up then bowed to the VP who ignored her before leaving.
The moment she left, the room descended into silence for an hour or two. The VP, who was still working, was lucky he did not turn around to look behind him, or he would have had a heart attack and died on the spot.
Endless darkness encroached upon him slowly from behind, its evil tendrils promising abyssal horror and endless walpurgis. Due to some sixth sense humans often denied, the VP felt a chill and looked behind him to see that there was nothing there, only his windows which were heavily curtained to prevent the sunlight from blasting his eyes.
When he turned back to focus on his work, he was spooked to see that there was a hooded man standing in front of his table, gazing at him without emotion.
Before the VP could speak, he heard a voice so sinister, so alluring, so absolutely that it sounded like the devil’s sweetest whispers.
(Author’s Note: The voice is similar to that of Star Killer in Force Unleashed 2 when doing Mind Tricks.)
“Don’t worry, it’s just me, your lifelong best friend Garrett.”
The VP’s eyes glazed over as he muttered. “Yes… lifelong best friend… Garrett…”
Soon, his daze cleared, and he returned to normal. Now that he looked up at the hooded man, he frowned with complaint.
“Tsk, Garrett you b.a.s.t.a.r.d, must you scare me like that? Jeez, you know I’m working, buddy. Anyway, what’s so important it couldn’t have been handled via a call?”
He actually stopped his work, he had not paused for even a second to speak to his ‘best friend’. The hooded man spoke in a clearly modified voice that was almost robotic.
“Where is the CEO?”
The VP’s eyebrow’s raised with surprise. “The CEO? What could you possibly want with that man, Garrett?”
The hooded man remained silent. The VP became extremely uncomfortable under that stare until he sighed. “s.h.i.+t, I hate it when you give me that silent stare. Fine, fine! The CEO has gone to visit the base.”
“Base?” The hooded man couldn’t help but ask in confusion.
The VP licked his lips and looked around uncertainly. He switched off his PC and left all devices on his desk as he brought the hooded man neared the bookshelf.
“Garrett, you can’t tell anyone… but I think this company is a sh.e.l.l for a bigger one. Not even a company, but like some secret organization.” The VP whispered carefully, his voice barely audible enough for the hooded man to hear.
“Even worse, I think they do human experiments and the like because some people go missing every now and then.”
The hooded man nodded calmly. “Where is the base?”
“It’s the local science research library hosted by CERN. They have a place underground where their true operations are held.” The VP replied with a bit of excitement.
Clearly, the feeling of doing something dangerous and sneaky was thrilling for he who had a relatively boring life. The hooded man nodded and spoke in a thick and echoing voice that sounded like many devils speaking on top of each other.
“You are tired of life, ready to end it all as the weight of your actions have consumed you. Use the next 5 hours to write out a will and confession, sharing your wealth to all your victims before jumping through this window in broad daylight.”
The VP’s eyes glazed over as he muttered: “I’m so tired of life… gotta make amends… then will end it all… yes, that’s for the best…”
When he came to, he noticed that he was alone in his office and was surprised. Where did his best friend Garrett go? Ah well, that fellow had always been like this anyway, so it was no big deal.
However, he would have liked to talk to him man to man one last time, just like they did when they were younger. He sighed and went back to his desk, typing away as he got back into the grind of work.
The hooded man now stood outside a large facility that was full of visitors and guests enjoying its wealth of recreational options. It was a science center opened to the public by CERN so that they could show off new discoveries and interact with the people.
There were only 4 of them in the Central Country, and this one seemed to house a base underneath it, if the VP was correct. Whether the others did as well, the hooded man had no idea.
Rather, he calmly walked into the building without anyone seeming to perceive him once more. Once inside, he looked left and right to see a sea of people moving about, having fun, and living their lives, deep at the moment.
He nodded and walked around aimlessly, exploring the entire building as he looked for secret entrances or anything that might tip him off to a location where he could access the base below.
Soon, he noticed that there were areas with no public presence. Here existed spooky, silent hallways that were well decorated and smelled like clean machinery.
There was a special elevator at the end of this corridor that seemed to require a special key card in order to enter. Seeing this, the hooded man knew what to do next as he found a random worker of her and stood behind them, whispering silently in that same devilish voice.
“You want to go down to the bas.e.m.e.nt level using the special elevator.”
The eyes of the fellow glazed over as he repeated. “I want… to go down… using my key card… wait, key card?”
Suddenly, he snapped out of it as his bows furrowed.
“What the h.e.l.l was that about key card and special elevator? This is just a science facility, for Christ’s sake! I gotta stop watching seasonal anime, man…”
Hearing this, the hooded man nodded and moved onto another target. It wasn’t until he met the fifth person, a young lady who was quite pretty but had a small scare on temples, that he succeeded.
“I want to… go down to the special base… using my access card…” She muttered in a daze.
Suddenly, her eyes cleared and she frowned. “No, I don’t. After what happened last time, I was strictly warned not to come down unless summoned.”
Then, her expression changed. “Oh no, it’s probably another attack on my mind. I have to report this quickly!”
She panicked, reached for her phone, but a voice whispered in her ears once more: “You will return to your duties and forget what you were doing just now.”
Her eyes glazed over again as she repeated the words. She then placed her phone back in her pocket and a.s.sumed position. The hooded man then casually searched her body without her noticing and found her key card.
He then put it back in her pocket and returned to the elevator. He transformed his body into a black mist and wafted through the hole of the elevator’s doors, noticing that he was in a long shaft that went down.
The elevator itself was at the bottom, like having to be called up each time it was used. Whatever the case, the black mist slowly wafted downwards in case of any sensors or traps.
The hooded man was cautious because he didn’t know the full limit of his new power nor what it entailed. If he hadn’t spent the past few months struggling to gain an elementary understanding of it, he wouldn’t have even dared to do this.
He reached the bottom of the shaft and curved through the elevator’s metallic coating to slip through the parting door. When he formed, he looked left and right to see a wide hallway that was minimalistic and painted bright white, with many lines running through it.
There were many security guards all over the place, and they were armed to the teeth. Scientists in white lab coats moved about, working on their own matters as they entered labs.
The hooded man a.n.a.lyzed his current location for a bit before angling towards the depths of the hallway. He made turns and twists along the way, each placed guarded heavier and heavier with hi-tech checkpoints canning for strange things.
Or the first time, the hooded man began to hesitate, unsure if his cloaking would carry him through. He believed himself a skilled combatant, but so many enemies in such a closed s.p.a.ce would mean death.
Not to mention, he hadn’t trained this ability for combat, only espionage. Still, he mustered his courage and went through, pa.s.sing through the checkpoints successfully until he reached what should be his goal.
A single office set apart from all other where the light within was on. The crimson halo in the hooded man’s gray eyes shone with intensity, his barely suppressed killing intent manifesting slightly.
He reined himself in and misted through the door of the office. Within, he saw a slightly pudgy old man with gray hair seated in a couch, where before him stood a large panel.
The hooded man’s eyes locked onto the old man as memories and emotions surged through him.
A young man was struck to the ground, his shocked and hurt expression contrasting the livid and disgusted one of the a.s.sailant. It was a portly old man with graying hair and a slightly stern visage.
The young man was a handsome, lean fellow of 5″10 who had messy light brown hair and expressive gray eyes that possessed a strange crimson halo within. He wore a pair of jeans and a casual s.h.i.+rt, but they were not dirtied by the dust.
The old man pointed to the young one in fury. “You poor rat, how dare you try to make a move on my daughter? Go back to the hovel you live in and look at yourself in the mirror before chasing after things beyond your level!”
The young man heard this and gritted his teeth in anger. He picked himself up from the ground and patted himself down, gazing at the older man with defiance, but did not fight back verbally, for he knew it was useless against prejudice of this level.
The old man was further infuriated by this look of defiance by what he considered to be a random street rat not worth remembering. “Guards, drag this cretin out and beat him the f.u.c.k up!”
Soon, a contingent of guards attacked the young man, trying to subdue him, but he easily beat them down one by one using superior agility and fighting ability.
Seeing this, a glint flashed in the older man’s eyes. He was not scared or pressured, only mildly surprised. But he shook his head and made his decision firm once more.
He stepped down from the front door and pressed a b.u.t.ton on his s.h.i.+rt. Immediately, his body lost all its weight, and he seemed to de-age by 50 years, much to the shock of the young man.
“Mis-mister Jones?” The young man asked with a stammer.
It was not that he was scared, but what he had seen just now betrayed all laws of common sense to him. Seeing the lad’s confusion, the ‘older’ man – Mister Jones – chuckled darkly.
“This is why I say you are a mongrel. Unable to even remain calm in the face of scientific progress and superiority! You are inferior, and I will make you understand that!”
With almost inhuman speed, he appeared before the young lad and struck him down. The lad coughed blood in pain, but was repeatedly truck by Mister Jones all over the place, having many of his bones broken, and his body severely bruised.
He was beaten to near death by this augmented Mister Jones and tossed out onto the street like garbage. Since this was the high-end district, someone eventually saw him and called the ambulance.
After being saved and discharged, the young man, Garrett Marshall, decided not to give up and pursued money through any means in order to qualify himself for Mister Jones’ daughter, the love of his life.
She had been severely grounded after they were found out, so he hadn’t been able to see her since then, not to mention security in their house had been increased.
He could only feel pain for her and what she was going through, but that rather fueled his desire to achieve his goals and be with her honorably.
However, Mister Jones likewise too did not give up. One fine evening, on his way back to his apartment from work, Garrett was jumped by five men who were extremely skilled, and they dragged him into an alleyway.
With his skills as a hardened young man, he managed to beat down two of them, but the final three got the upper hand. One stabbed him in the gut, then they stomped him over and over until they were sure they had broken all his limbs.
Garrett, delirious from the pain and bleeding out, never felt more lucid in his life. His desire to live had burned like a bonfire, and his desire to see those who would harm him perish in pain.
It was then that his body emitted a dark mist that covered the entire alleyway. Soon, horrifying screams that would chill even demons echoed from the alleyway, but no one was able to save those within.
When the dark mist receded, Garrett was fully healed and had even gained some muscle ma.s.s, but his expression was confused.. Seeing the desiccated bodies of those who attacked him, he staggered out of the alleyway and ran for his apartment.
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