Chapter 36: The Underground School Lab

After lassoing a cracked edge of the hole above them, Eve and her companions began to ascend the rope one by one. Kohaku was the first to climb up and the moment his feet was on solid ground, he pulled out a flashlight from his bag and pointed it into the darkness revealing lab areas with empty vials and cracked beakers.

“Looks like this place was the lab of the school…underground lab, not too shabby,” muttered Kohaku and then glanced around one more time before looking at the others still hanging on the rope.

“The coast is clear.”

David nodded urging the others to follow. As they climbed up, Chronos made sure to be behind Eve, but he couldn’t help himself shaking as Kenji followed close behind. He didn’t even need to open his eyes to know that Kenji was glaring at him.

I have to be strong…for Eve.

Chronos was soon pulled up to solid ground by Eve, who then reached out to help Kenji up, but Chronos pushed Eve aside gently and held Kenji up instead opening his eyes slightly. He saw a glimpse of Kenji boxing in his past before glaring at Kenji and whispering, “Don’t touch Eve.” Kenji gritted his teeth realizing that Chronos had indeed seen the past he wanted to hide. Kenji yanked on Chronos’s hand ready to pull him down, but when he noticed Eve looking at him, he took in a deep breath and pulled himself up brushing Chronos’s hand away.

Chronos gave Kenji one final glare before closing his eyes and grabbing hold of Adler’s sleeve, who was the closest to him.

Kenji felt his hate for Chronos rise, but felt a smile creep onto his face when Eve approached him and asked, “Is something wrong, Kenji?” Kenji shook his head and patted her head saying, “Nothing is wrong.” Kenji reached out to Eve’s hand, but David grabbed Eve’s hand first saying, “We better move.” Kenji nodded, but the smile he wore before had vanished as Eve was dragged off with David.

David approached Kohaku, who still scanned the area with the flashlight, and asked, “Any movement?” Kohaku shook his head saying, “There’s no sign of anything down here.” David sighed in relief and then motioned to the others saying, “Find anything useful in here and then we’ll find the exit.”

They all nodded and then began to search each lab table and cabinet for any supplies. Eve tried to separate from David to search herself, but David held her hand tighter saying, “Stay close to me.”

“But…”

“Eve…please.”

Eve could see the anxiety in David’s eyes as she realized that it has almost been a whole day, since they last saw each other. Her worry for David and the others were equal to their worry for Eve. With this realization, Eve nodded holding David’s hand back and felt relief when the anxiety in David’s eyes vanished. Glancing at the others, she also noticed the relief in their eyes.

I’m really glad I’m back with them.

David approached a glass cabinet with an assortment of chemicals. He broke the glass with his elbow and grabbed a couple of bottles before tossing them into his bag.

“Do you need so many?” asked Eve.

“You never know when they might come in handy,” stated David with a chuckle and then placed a bottle filled with green acid into Eve’s hand.

“Use this in an emergency.”

Eve nodded and placed the bottle into her pocket. David was about to walk away, but Eve stopped him making him look at her. Eve picked up a ring stand from the cabinet and placed it in her backpack with a smile.

“Just in case.”

David chuckled and patted her head before looking at the others and asked, “You guys done?” They all nodded, except for Ivan, who was staring at a closed closet.

“Something wrong, Ivan?” asked David as he looked at Ivan. Ivan pointed at the closet saying, “There was someone else in here before us.”

David looked at the closet and saw that there was a message written in blood pasted on the door:

DO NOT OPEN THIS DOOR! I AM WITHIN!

David frowned as he began to hear scratches from within the closet followed by a groan.

“So a zombie is in there?”

“Most likely.”

David looked at the others and asked, “There might be something useful in there, so should we open the door and kill whatever is in there?” They all looked to one another, not sure how to answer, but Eve suddenly went to David placing her hand against the door.

“I think we should release the one who is in here…they did place a warning on the door before changing after all.”

“So kill it?”

Eve nodded with a small tear in her eye. David ordered everyone to step back as Eve began to summon pistols for each of them. She tossed the pistols into everyone’s hands and then glanced at David with her own gun in her hand and nodded as she cocked her gun.

David opened the door quickly and then leapt back as a male zombie stumbled out trying to grab at David. The zombie fell forward with a groan revealing that its leg was snapped in two. As the zombie lifted up its head it revealed the bite mark on his neck and the purple tint on its skin. It gritted its teeth as he looked at them and reached out to them.

Kenji prepared to fire, but Adler pushed his gun down saying, “Don’t shoot.”

“Why?”

“Look at what he is wearing.”

Kenji looked at the zombie again and saw that the zombie was wearing a white gown and had a name tag dangling on the front. On the tag was a number: 9.

“A number on a tag…is he a Jogus?”

Adler nodded and glanced at the others knowing that the others noticed the same thing as him: that the zombie before them was also a User and could counterattack if they were not careful.

David glanced at Chronos and Eve and asked, “What is his power?”

Eve gulped and stated, “X-Ray vision…he is User number nine, Kent.”

“X-ray vision, so there is no way for him to fight us, right?” asked Adler with slight relief, but Eve shook her head saying, “He used his ability to do things besides seeing.”

Before David could question her, the Jogus, Kent, punched the ground groaning making the ground around them begin to crumble.

“He’s strong?” exclaimed David.

“Not exactly,” stated Eve as she pulled Chronos from the crumbling ground, “He uses his ability to look for the weakness in a structure and strikes that place.”

Kent punched the ground again making the ground crumble faster. They ran backwards as the ground crumbled and began to fire at Kent. Kent raised his bruised hand and struck the bullets with a single hit each. The bullets immediately crumpled like dust making David curse under his breath before being forced to leap back as the ground under him finally crumbled away.

“I guess we should have shot him sooner,” muttered David as he fired two more rounds. Kent shattered the bullets and then faced in the direction of Eve, who pointed her gun at him. Kent clenched his fist and punched the ground again not tearing his eyes from Eve.

“I’m sorry…”

The ground under Kent crumbled sending him falling to the floor below. Eve gasped looking down below and saw Kent lend on the ground. He cracked his broken leg back into place and looked up at Eve again before running off out of sight in the sewers.

“He ran,” stated Eve and then looked at the others with a bewildered look.

“Are you OK, Eve?” asked David as he went to her side. Eve nodded taking one last glance at the sewers below.

Why did he run?

            Eve snapped out of her thoughts, when she heard Kale say, “I got in.” Eve looked at Kale and saw that he was in the closet the zombie was in before. He pulled out an ax and tossed it to the other side where there was still ground. Eve looked at the ax and saw dried blood.

“I guess that belonged to Kent…when he was still alive,” stated Eve as David picked up the ax and held it over his shoulder.

Kale then tossed a medical bag, which Ivan caught and placed over his shoulder saying, “This will come in handy.”

“Anything else?” asked Adler. Kale nodded and tossed out a mop and a broom. Adler caught them wondering why Kale saw these as useful, but to his surprise, Kohaku took the broom and broke off the end with the brush creating a spike at the end. After poking it a few times, he nodded and stated, “Can’t always depend on guns.” Adler nodded in agreement and was about to do the same with the mop, until he realized the handle was made of metal making him groan, but gasped when Kenji took the mop from him with a smirk on his lips. Adler muttered out a curse, but perked up when Kale tossed him a fire extinguisher.

Adler hit it a few times and then smirked saying, “I’m fine with this.” Kale leaped out of the closet with a few more staffs most likely used for replacement handles for the broom. He handed a staff to Chronos and Eve and stated, “You might need to defend yourselves if any of us aren’t close to you.” Eve nodded thanking Kale, while Chronos glanced at the staff with an uneasy look.

Ivan was also offered a staff, but he declined saying, “I have other ways to fight besides a gun.” Kale nodded and then approached David saying, “I think we’re good, unless that User zombie returns.”

“OK, then let’s find an exit.”

With David’s orders, they all began to search the room for an exit, while avoiding the crumbled ground made by the Jogus Kent.

Eve looked around with a bewildered look. In a lab, there was at least one door to act as an entrance and an exit, but there didn’t seem to be one in sight in this school lab. In fact, it looked like the walls were solid with no opening in sight. It was like a sealed room in a locked room murder case.

Eve ran her fingers along the wall trying to look for any sign of an opening, but to her utter shock, she began to her rapid footsteps from the other side of the wall.

“David!” Eve exclaimed getting everyone’s attention, “There’s something behind this wall.” David ran to her side and placed his hand against the wall. At that moment, rapid knocking shook the wall making the shelves shake.

David pulled Eve back not taking the chance that an undead might erupt from the wall, but to his and everyone’s surprise the wall before David and Eve slid open revealing a black haired woman wearing a lab coat and black lenses. She ran into the lab and slid the wall shut before pushing a shelf in front of the wall.

“Stupid corpses just keep popping up,” muttered the woman, while trying to catch her breath. It was obvious to Eve and the others that this woman was alive, but who she was…that was the question.

The woman finally took notice of them and gave out a quick scream pressing her back against a shelf.

“I swear I’m not tasty!” she squealed as she pressed herself against the shelf.

“Uh…we’re not going to eat you,” stated David. The woman blinked at them a few times and stated, “You’re not corpses…wait a second.” The woman stared at them hard, but at Chronos and Eve particularly. Her eyes beamed in excitement as she exclaimed, “User 45 and User 2 are alive!”

“User…SHE’S FROM THE FACILITY?” exclaimed Adler as he stared at the woman. Chronos reacted at the sound of the woman’s voice, while Eve’s eyes widened.

“Do you know her, Eve?” asked David acting cautious around the woman. Eve nodded.

“Dr. Ciel…she was the one who invented the medicine that I had to take before to seal my power.”

The woman, Dr. Ciel, smiled with a nod and stated, “Now how did two Users get down here…and with company?”

Area 40 Facility

Staff: 88 (Dead?) 2 (Alive)

Users: 8 (Alive) 10 (Dead) 27 (Unknown)

Genome Detention Center

Staff: 90 (Dead?) 0 (Alive)

Prisoners: 5 (Alive) 50 (Dead?)

School

Staff: 50 (Dead) 0 (Alive)

Students: 2 (Alive) 140 (Dead)

Earth Dome Faction

Members: 70 (Alive) 0 (Dead)

Strong Faction

Members: 71 (Alive?) 0 (Dead?)

World

About 50,000,000,000 (dead) others (Unknown)

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