Atticus Anoethite and Melissa Devlin
"Atticus? Come on, please!"
Feeling strangely comfortable and laying under warm blankets, Atticus ignored the calling and continued to drift into sleep. Feeling a force grab his arm and shake it while calling his name out even louder than before, he quickly opened his eyes and sat up in the bed. Momentarily blinded by the bright lights that flooded into his vision, he winced and stammered out a single word: "What?"
With his eyes adjusting to the light, he noticed he was in a hospital room, surrounded by white walls. A long purple curtain cut the room in half, preventing him from seeing the other side. At the side of his bed, with her grip on the railing of it still, he noticed a former companion that he had not seen in some time — Melissa.
"Melissa?" he asked, his voice slightly hoarse due to the dryness of his throat. "What are you doing here? How did I get here?"
"You're awake!" Melissa yelled. "I'm so relieved to see you, I was so worried! I really thought Marshall had killed you..." she said, her voice quavering.
Atticus rubbed his eyes as he continued to grasp his surroundings.
"Good to see you too. But how did I get here? Marshall, Chris, where are they?"
"Marshall's next to us, beside the curtain," replied Melissa. The girl paused for a moment, as she began to dictate the events of the previous night. "You — you, I saw you being carried in here. I — I tried to find Chris last night, but the attack, the rain it... I tried, but I couldn't find him. I wanted to keep looking, but my brother Steven made me come here after I twisted my leg. When I saw you two, I made sure to visit in the morning."
Atticus placed his hand on his forehead, rubbing it slightly as he thought the latest events over. Marshall's status gave him relief, but he felt unsure about Chris. "Attack? Alchem's attack? Last I saw was a blinding flash of light and then I was here."
Looking over at the curtain, Atticus thought of more questions to ask. Melissa's explanations only left him with more questions. "Do you think Chris is alright? Did you get to see him here? Marshall and I saw the announcement Alchem made about him. And uh, brother?"
Melissa leaned in closer to Atticus. "I don't know.. Lots of stuff happened last night." She took a brief sigh. "They say — creatures called angels, they attacked the city. A few minutes after I looked for Chris, there was a bright light.." Atticus listened closely to her slow speech. "I — couldn't see much, but I know hundreds died... I — c-could h-hear screams through the rain." Melissa stopped as her voice degraded to a sad quiver. She took a breath, wiping away tears. After stopping for a moment, she decided to change her focus. "When I first made it to the city, I met this guy. He turned out to be my uncle and he brought me to a lab and I met a boy there — turns out, I have a twin brother."
Marshall's eyes shuttered, then opened. He looked to his right to see a purple curtain. He heard what seemed to be Atticus' and Melissa's voice on the other side.
"Why the hell am I in a hospital?!"
Marshall looked down at his bed-ridden self. He noticed scrapes all over himself and felt a pain in his left arm.
"Agh. Dammit, how did this happen?'"
Taken aback by Melissa's story, Atticus sat in his bed confused. Quickly thinking of a reply, he looked back at her after hearing Marshall from the other side of the room. "Just slow down. You're not making any sense. What the hell is an 'angel'?"
Melissa looked at Atticus, she was slightly annoyed at the fact she had to explain again. "I'm as confused as you are, Atticus. But I saw the attack. The 'angels' — I didn't know what they were until Steven told me. He should be outside, you might meet him soon."
In the dilapidated, rarely-used android wing of the Masquerade Hospital, Chris Wellington lay on a vertically standing silver table. Shocked by the location, he attempted to move — but metal restraints restricted his arms and legs. Looking down, Chris was surprised to see he did not possess his usual attire. Rather than his orange and blue outfit, he now wore primarily black. Chris wore dark, baggy sweatpants, and a tight short-sleeved sweater with a large hood. A Silivian emblem was embroiled on the left arm. Perhaps if he had the chance, he would get something more like his original clothing.
Adjusting to the unique environment, Chris checked his watch. Looking at it, he knew it had been several hours since the encounter with Fontaine, so the water must have had quite the effect to get him put in here. He sighed with relief, then looked closely at the doorway. Would he ever see Savannah, Atticus, Marshall, or Melissa again?
With the room's silence being broke by Chris' awakening, a man rose from a table and approached the android. The man was the only other person in the large, dusty room. On his table, the man's strange work was showcased. Beakers containing liquids of different colors were being warmed by etnas. He had left his notebook on the table, filled with scribbles of equations and notes.
The thin man stood above the plans and papers littered throughout the room. He appeared to be young and had tanned skin, with dark hair and eyes.
"You're alive," he said.
"Uh.. just who do I have the honor of addressing?" Chris asked as he investigated the man in more careful detail. "Because, if you must know, I have a rather urgent matter to attend to."
The man was amused at the android's vocabulary. "Honor?" replied the man, amused. "This is the Masquerade Hospital, and I'm the one who brought you here."
"Thank you very much for your assistance," Chris said. "Now, could you please undo the ropes tied around my levers.. er, arms?" He eyed the door carefully.
"Very well," the man walked over to the android, undoing his restraints and allowing him to stand.
"Thank you," Chris said, getting off the bed. He cast a glance towards the door. Turning around, he looked back at the man. "I am appreciative, but I really need to depart from here." He prepared himself to leave the room, before realizing he had forgotten something important. "What do they call you?"
The man looked closely at the android. "I'm Dr. Picciotto. Nice meeting you."
"A pleasure to meet you, Dr. Picciotto. Farewell," Chris said, as he twisted the doorknob and opened the door, preparing to head out into the decrepit hallway.
Chris walked slowly past the messy walls, keeping his eye on the rickety staircase at the end of the corridor. He detected a very putrid odor coming from the ground, which increased the rundown effect of this place. As he got closer to the staircase, Chris noticed that it had yellow caution tape all over it. He would have to devise an easier method of getting out.
Finally, Chris found another set of stairs a little ways past the first, and carefully climbed upwards. Opening the door, he found himself in a spacious waiting room with a large crowd of people. They crowded themselves near chairs and the front-desk, each hoping to meet a friend or relative. In one of the room's chairs sat a blond boy who looked to the floor, with a middle-aged older man standing next to him. Opting not to wait at the crowded front-desk for help, Chris approached the two. "Pardon me, sir. Are you able to provide me with directions?"
The boy instinctively looked up from his seat. He prepared to say something, but briefly paused upon seeing Chris' face. "Sure. What are you looking for? Exit, patient rooms?"
"Looking for my friends Atticus, Melissa, and some others. Perhaps the exit out of this large facility would be best."
The boy's suspicions were confirmed. While he did not wish to jump on the fact the boy's appearance was similar, the names "Atticus" and "Melissa" confirmed the identity of the man in front of him. "Wait. Are you Chris Wellington?"
Chris felt surprised at the boy's knowledge of his name. Unsure of how he came to know, he questioned him. "Well — yes, that would be a term for my classification. How exactly do you know that?"
The boy stood up and offered his hand to Chris. The name "Chris" — it reminded him of guilt and conflict of the night prior. "My name's Steven, and I'm Melissa's brother. This is our uncle, Dr. Richard Devlin. I can bring you to the room where Melissa and the others are," revealed the boy.
"Well, I'd appreciate you taking me there very much," Chris lightly shook Steven's hand.
Steven nodded and motioned for Chris to follow him. The three moved past the reception area's frantic crowd, and they walked towards a turquoise door that led to a stairwell. Making sure Chris and Richard were behind, Steven pushed the door open, and they began to climb the stairs. Chris caught up to Richard, following Steven by his side.
"You know, it's crazy when you think about it," Steven said to Chris, as the three began to approach a set of stairs "The past few days have been pretty mundane, and all of a sudden my sister shows up and changes everything. Are you able to relate, Chris?"
Chris briefly pondered the thought. "Well, it has been approximately three hundred years since I was activated for an extended period, so I am unsure. I suppose the meeting of Melissa and the others was a catalyst similar to yours." Steven smiled with interest.
Steven pushed the door to the hospital's fifth floor open, and they entered into the white hallway.
They quickly searched for room number 562. Machines and murmurs were the only sounds that could be heard as the three walked. Bodies in stretchers would occasionally be carried past — survivors of last night's decimation.
Steven stopped walking. To his right, a wooden door engraved with the numbers "562."
"I suppose I'll stay out here for the time being. Go ahead, boys," Richard told them.
The sight of the door left Steven slightly nervous, unsure of what was to be expected. "This is it, Chris. They'll be happy to see you, so you can knock if you want."
"I suppose I shall," replied Chris.
Chris walked towards the door and began to lightly tap his hand. A muffled female voice called out. "Who is it?"
Confidently, the android swung open the door. "It's me, Chris. I am relieved to have discovered your present location."
Melissa perked up upon seeing the recognizable face of Chris. She jumped up from her seat and ran over to him, hugging him tightly. "Thank God you're okay! I was so, so worried!"
"Relieved that you're okay as well, Melissa," Chris responded. "I hope Atticus and everyone else is alright." Chris looked out into the hallway for a second. "Steven, would you mind coming in?"
Steven nodded and followed Chris into the room.
Atticus looked up from his bed as the two boys entered the room. "Chris? How are you here? How did you find us? And is that—"
Melissa looked into the hallway and noticed the boy emerging behind Chris. She gasped softly at the sight of her brother. Smiling, she skipped over to him. "Steven! Glad to see you," she said happily, to his surprise. "Come on in, I want to introduce you to everyone."
Steven nodded, smiling. He followed Melissa into the room and took a seat.
"Because of my malfunctions, I can only remember them shooting at me. I blacked out after my encounter with them."
The four others in the room listened with interest as Chris finished telling the events after his separation. For Atticus, Marshall, and Melissa, the day they were without Chris was like an eternity.
"What did the guy look like?" questioned Marshall.
"I don't know. In the pouring rain, I think I saw them wearing a mask," Chris responded.
Atticus sat up on the edge of his bed. He had listened closely to the others in the room, not wanting to interrupt anyone with questions. With Chris finished, however, Atticus wanted answers on a selection of things. "Wow," Atticus said, speaking up. "Seems everyone had their own struggles. But, I still have things to ask. What, exactly, are angels and demons? Are they what we saw in the forest?"
The room went quiet on Atticus' question.
"I could answer, if you want," The voice of Steven broke the silence and everyone turned to him. "Beings like those are the main focus of the laboratory."
"Oh come on, is this really—" Marshall began.
"Enough, Marshall," said Atticus. Ignoring him, he looked at Steven. "I woke up in a barn barely remembering who I was. It would be nice for any form of explanation on what I've been hearing and seeing."
Steven nodded and sat back in his chair as all eyes were on him. He placed his hand on his chin. "Well," he began. "we need to discuss Eden."
Suddenly, the room was swept by confusion. Changing his mind, Marshall chose to engage in the conversation. "What?" he said, blankly.
"Can you elaborate?" asked Chris.
Atticus scratched his head. "I'm not following. Eden?"
"It's easier when you first learn it as a kid. With the state of everything now, this knowledge is hard to come by," explained Steven. "This world is one of many. I don't know how many there are, but there are more. Based on your descriptions, I think what you all saw in the forest were demons. Creatures from another world, Eden, that entered into Euclid."
"Wait, if they're from Eden, how exactly did angels and demons come here?" asked Atticus. "When?"
"Well, you see," began Steven, "Demons came first — they suddenly appeared sometime three hundred years ago. After they ravaged the planet for a few months, Gabriel Alchemilia created a portal to Eden. Led the angels to come here, and at that point, this planet changed forever. The existing war between angels and demons worsened, and now humans are caught in the middle. Angels usually don't care for humans, so the attack last night was very odd."
The name "Alchemilia" set off some bells within the room. For everyone, the name represented the tumultuous times of the past few days. "Okay, okay — so demons just 'show up', and Gabriel makes a portal. How is that even possible? Angels and demons were at war? And if this was three hundred years ago, how the hell is Gabriel still alive?" asked Atticus, confused. "Could you just tell me more, if you can?"
"So, Gabriel was capable of travel between worlds?" added Chris.
Steven chuckled, falling slightly back into his chair. "To tell the truth, I really can't answer all of your questions. I'm still learning things from Richard. Primary sources from the old Euclidean era are rare, so I'm still researching that. If you decide to look more thoroughly into this stuff, then you get into the theistic aspect of our history."
"Theistic?" asked Melissa.
"Relating to supposed deities. It's where things, in my opinion, really get ridiculous. For example — some people claim a hidden leader is behind the demon army, a former deity that became a beast after their soul was fragmented. Legends claim you can see their soul as a red light," Steven said. "This idea is taken seriously by many, even for those who are not religious. Eden is already evidence of there being many universes, so — makes you think, I guess."
One of the words in Steven's explanation caused an alarm to go off within Chris' brain, much like the others in the room. "Red light? Specifically scarlet-colored?" Chris asked. "Back at the barn where we woke up, we saw the sky turn red and glow in a rather ominous way. Could this be connected?"
All waited for an answer from Steven, for the sighting of that mysterious light was one of their earliest memories.
"I — don't know, really," Steven said, shrugging his shoulders. "Never thought about the connection until then. You picked my brain, I suppose."
All those in the room sat silent, for their idea on the nature of their world was completely changed. "Wow," Atticus said, under his breath.
"Welp, I learned a few new things today," said Marshall, breaking the silence. "I've seen demons like, a few times in Gladea."
"It's an interesting topic," replied Steven. "If you want, you can come on over to the lab this afternoon. Also, don't you all need a place today? If you need somewhere to rest, I know a man with quite a few beds."
Melissa perked up at the mention of a place to stay. "That would really help!" she exclaimed. "Finally have a bed to sleep on. Where is this guy?"
Steven smiled. "Interesting fellow, he has his own laboratory. Knew him when I was younger. I can get Richard, our uncle, to drive us there."
"That's a really great idea, I know I'd appreciate having a real place to stay," Chris said, delighted.
"Well, only if he approves me bringing all of you. Though I'm sure he might like new subjects," explained Steven.
"Subjects? I really don't like the sound of that," Chris said. "Are you saying he experiments on people?"
Melissa looked at her brother confused. "What do you mean new subjects?" She asked.
Steven was amused at their curiosity. He smiled, not wanting to reveal the secret of man's work. "Not anything bad. It will be fine, I promise. He studies.. a unique field."
"I guess we can do that, then," Chris said. "But we still have a major problem to deal with."
"Hm?" questioned Steven. "What is it?"
Turning his attention to Steven again, he nodded. "This sounds interesting and all, but before we go there, we need to focus on our group. Savannah is still missing."
Dressed in a green sweater and a black jacket was a tall man. He walked alone, wearing white gloves and a surgical mask both to conceal his identity and keep him safe from the germs a hospital would contain. His dark outfit contrasted greatly with the white hospital corridors as he watched for the room he'd arranged to visit — On a scrap of paper he held, "J. FONTAINE - ROOM 7" was scrawled messily in blue ink. He shook his long white hair out of his eyes as he opened the door to the room labeled '7' and stepped inside.
As he sat down, a heavily bandaged man turned to look at him with great struggle. Apparently, this man had sustained his injuries about fifteen minutes before the invasion began. He was found heavily beaten at the sight of a house fire caused by a gas leak, presumably induced by damages caused by a stray bullet during whatever fight he was caught in. His skin, very few of it visible, was dark and burned, and his one eye was scarred and bloodshot. Fontaine could barely make out the face in front of him; He was high out of his mind on painkillers, after all, but he could tell he was being berated for... something. Maybe he'd just drift off. He didn't want to be here, anyways.
Gabriel's lips moved fluently under his face mask, as though he'd rehearsed his speech multiple times in advance.
"—In conclusion, John Fontaine, you are no longer necessary, and I'm afraid you know far, far too much." Fontaine's eyes began to focus as he noticed Gabriel twirling a wire between his fingers, unplugged from the wall. Fontaine attempted to muster a scream, though his lungs denied him the opportunity. "Shh, Fontaine, you're already dead. It would take a real miracle to save you now."
Gabriel dropped the cord, stood up, and exited without another word.
|Season One:||Awakening • White Room • Bare Trees • One Night in Gladea • Divided we Fall • Hide & Seek • Exit Music • Reunion • In Somnis Veritas • Carpe Diem • Ticking Clock • Primo Victoria (Part I • Part II)|
|Season Two:||Until Dawn • Roaming King • Safe Haven • Silver Lights • Marked Map • The Less I Know the Better • Riding the Wave • Centuries of Damnation • House of the Rising Sun • The Master|