Author’s note: Drawn with a pen. I actually had fun drawing her, though I felt a bit disgusted with the Egyptian beetles crawling on her legs. >.<”
Waking up a second time with a mild headache wasn’t what I wanted. The throbbing pain of getting knocked out left a jarring pain on the side of my temples. When I touched it, I felt the sting, waking me up even further. Everything came back to me in a flood of unwanted memories. Finding out that I had died for a moment and resurrected, battling a crazy demon croc lady and finally being knocked out and dragged somewhere wasn’t what I ever in my life expected to go through. Who knew that all this could happen in one day, if it’s even still the same day.
“Hey, you okay?” A man’s voice startled me, causing me to jump out of bed.
I raised up my fist and unconsciously strike forward towards the unsuspecting person. My hands were caught into his fist, I swung with my other hoping that it would connect, but so far I only swung at the air.
“Woah there.” The man chuckled as he came into focus. A bald man in his early to mid-thirty stood standing over me. I couldn’t help but feel creep out that someone was there possibly standing over me, watching me sleeping. “That’s quite the welcome.”
“Sorry.” I grunted, pulling back my fist. “You are?”
“Marcus Ivanov. You?”
“Alexus Tyger, spelled with a u not an I.”
Marcus was a large buff man, he was wearing a simple grey shirt and a sweatpant that seem to not to fit on his body. I swear, he was ready to burst out of his clothes any moment now if he moved around a bit too much. He gave off a serious don’t-mess-with-me vibe the way he held himself, making me feel a bit intimidated. Definitely, I could tell he was Russian, especially from his last name.
“I bet you’re surprised that you are here chucked away with some strange man right?” He leaned over on the side of the bunk bed rail that was next to the one I was sitting on.
“Yea…”I slowly stated.
“Well buddy you are our fourth roommate.”
“Who’s the other?” I searched around he dimly lit room and found a another bunk beds on the left side. They were also a door not to far away, where it lead to a bathroom. Metal chairs and metal desk chained to the wall sat on the opposite side of where I was sitting, I had to wonder why go so far to chain the desk and chairs. Did whoever kidnap me thought we would have time to steal something so big? Seriously? I think I’ll be to busy trying to get out of this place than worry about stealing. That’s last on my list.
“That would be Timothy and Jones. They’re five to a room, but luckily for us we’re still four. Another person and I swear it’s going to get crowded in here.” He grunted displeased at the thought of another person rooming with us.
“Where are they?” I didn’t see anyone here, it was only Marcus making this whole experience weird.
“At the cafeteria. I heard that we were having a new recruit and as a leader, I’m supposed to be here to greet you.”
“I’m not a new recruit.” I replied, not liking the thought of being recruited when I was seriously kidnapped. Whoever thought recruiting means kidnapping, they need to get their brain checked.
“Kidnapped?” For a moment he thought it over, then it clicked in his mind.
“You must’ve done something to get spirited away. What did you do? Run away? Punch a lady in the face? Possibly a wanted man? Murder?”
I couldn’t help but fidget. All of what he said was the things that I had did and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to answer.
Marcus burst out laughing, causing me to jump. What was so funny that he would be laughing so hard for? I couldn’t help but stare at him strangely as he reeled back, hitting his leg hard. “Don’t worry about it, at least half of us in this mental facility has already checked off all the things that I just said.”
“I’m not mental.”
“I know. Actually we all know. So what did you do?”
I wasn’t sure if I should tell him what I saw, but he was here just like me, meaning that he might have saw what I have seen.
“You saw them haven’t you?”
The way he said them made me have a flashback. I couldn’t help but gulp in fear, beads of sweat started to drip on my head, making my hand all clammy. Seeing something monstrous, that you would find under the bed or in the closet, brought back childhood memories of hiding under the covers. The reason: the fear of the boogey man that would come bursting out from the closet to gobble me up. Right now, the Croc Lady was the Boogeyman that sprung out of the closet, and she was way too real to be a dream.
I nodded my head, confirming his question.
“She was a monster.” My words were unusually quiet.
“I bet.” He chuckled.
“You don’t believe me?” I glared, not liking how he wasn’t taking me seriously.
“No, I do. I heard from the others that they dealt with monsters and ended up in here.”
“Look, if you don’t take it seriously then don’t ask.” I was getting annoyed fast. “I’m not mental.”
“Nobody said that you are. This mental hospital is a cover up, and you my friend are an Ouroboros.”
“Come again?” The words didn’t click in my head. What was he saying? I’m an Ouroboros? Did he mean the Ouroboros that been popping up all over the world?
“You’re an Ouroboros, just like how I am.”
“Your joking right? Me an Ouroboros? Are you sure you got the right man?”
Marcus for a moment went silent and started to chuckle once again. What was so funny that he was laughing every second? Was he playing a joke on me, because I swear I’m not liking it at all, and every time he chuckled I wanted to drive my fist into his face. Plus Ouroboros were the supposed new type of people, they were mental and murders…..then it hit me. Shit.
“It seems it all clicked from your expression.”
“That’s not possible.” I spoke. How was it possible? How could I be an Ouroboros? I’m just a normal guy that has bills to pay. Wait, bills…now that I think about it I might not even need to pay for bills anymore. That actually took a load off my chest.
“I know this is all new, but don’t get me wrong. Everyone here are Ouroboros and you my friend are a newly awakened. You died and become a whole new man. Literally.”
“I-” No words seem to come out and instead I gaped like a fish.
“Like you were saying, you saw her as her true self didn’t you? The monster or should I say demon? She had black smoke coming out from her body, black bugs that seem to crawl around her like she was infested with them, and red ghastly eyes that seem to stare into your soul? Right?”
“Yes!” I bursted out without thinking, gripping the edge of the bed. He nailed all the description of what I saw. “Her face turned into some kind of nile crocodile with snakes coming out of her head. Even the bugs reminds me of an egyptian scarabs.”
“You fought with an Egyptian type demon?” He whistled. “I’m surprised that you’re still alive.”
“Wait, was I supposed to die?” What a vote of confidence.
“Well, yes. The unlucky ones die before they come here. Plus nobody, I mean nobody have survived an Egyptian Demon so far nor seen one in close quarters. The older the demons, the stronger they are, and the Egyptian types are quite ancient.”
My head was twirling in chaos. She was a demon and an ancient one to boot. I was really lucky to even be alive. What was even more surprising was that he and I was an Ouroboros, meaning I wasn’t completely human anymore. I think.
“So Demons are real?” I couldn’t help but ask to reassure that I wasn’t just being made fun of.
“Yea, you fought one didn’t you and escaped?”
“Well…yea, though I think she might be dead.”
Marcus whistled loudly once again, he straightened up in disbelief at what he just heard. “You killed an Egyptian Demon? Wow, even I was lucky to harm mine and get away. You must have a will of steel to fight back against something like that. Majority of us usually run away, we don’t know what the hell we are fighting till we arrive here and share our stories.”
I had a hard time believing that Marcus would run away, the way he carried himself look like he wouldn’t, but I guess appearance wasn’t everything.
“Can you explain to me what an Ouroboros even really means?”
“You don’t know?” Marcus raised his eyebrow, quite surprised as if I didn’t know the information that he knew.
“Was I supposed to know something?”
“Well yes.” He drew back his hand, and rubbed his bald head. He then dropped his hand to the side. “The moment you are awakened, you should’ve known what you are. We all do, though you’re the first case that don’t know. Strange.”
“Really? I must’ve died and missed the memo when I awoke.” I half heartedly chuckled.
“I actually think you did.” Marcus was serious in what he said, making me feel a bit uncomfortable. “Well, an Ouroboros are people like us who have evolved into a stronger humans. We’re three times stronger, faster, and heal quicker than normal. Our mind are more receptive to the ‘true’ reality of this world. We are able to see beyond the illusion that these demons have casted around themselves and also see beyond the unordinary, or you could say the veil. The problem is, once we see them for who they are, they instantly know that we can see them. Eventually, becoming hunted down by them.”
I shuddered. Hunted. That wasn’t something that I ever wanted. Now to hear that we were going to be hunted by these demons wasn’t something I was ready for. To possibly go back into the outside world and see them just plainly walking out in broad daylight sounded terrifying. I can deal with humans anytime, but monster. That’s a different story, especially demons.
“Then what about those demon creatures? How come I didn’t know anything about them when I awoken? Don’t the others know about them when they awake?”
“No, that’s a bit different. You have to experience them, and for some reason there always there when you first awaken. Everyone here had run into at least one. Some even two.”
“Two?!” Just the thought of meeting two was already mind boggling in itself. They were something I don’t want to ever run into again anytime soon.
“Things happen.” He shrugged.
“Are they even human?” I couldn’t help but ask, “I mean when they die. They seem to leave behind the human host. I don’t even know if I killed someone.”
“There definitely demons for sure. No question about it, the problem is that they take over the host, kill the soul, and eventually becomes the real owner of the body. Their not even considered human anymore. Though they follow the same set of rules when they inhabit a human flesh, that’s the plus side in all this. So what other’s see is usually us killing other humans.”
I cringed. That must’ve been why the demon left the body behind. It was dead, useless and broken after I choked her out.
“Why don’t we get you something to eat, I bet they have starved you since they took you into custody.”
I didn’t realize how hungry I was until now, my stomach growled, telling me that I need to feed it right this moment. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even get to eat the croissant that I had bought, meaning I haven’t had anything to eat for two days now.
“I’ll take you on that offer.” I got up.
“Good, because I was getting hungry as well. I’ll take you to the others.”
We walked out the room, I trailed behind him, taking everything in as much as possible. Everywhere I examined, I was quite surprised at where we were. This place was a top quality facility with name brand equipements. Nothing about this whole building screamed mental hospital, everything just look futuristic and even clean. Every couple of doors, I would even see plants next to doors, giving the place a nice refreshing feel.
Marcus pushed opened a double metal door, the loud obnoxious sound of people laughing and talking burst through the door. I couldn’t help but wearily stare around, the thought of being surrounded by other Ouroboros made me feel a bit nervous. I heard on the news that quite a bit of them were killers, but now I think about it those killers must’ve been like me, people who had fought an actual demon and lived.
I felt a little better after I thought such thoughts, these demon’s weren’t human and instead killed the soul and took over the physical body. For a moment, everyone went quiet and turned towards the door, watching us with curiosity. Everyone was wearing the same colored grey shirt and pants, even I was wearing the same ugly clothes.
Marcus walked past quite a bit of people, ignoring some glares, while the others respect. I got the feeling that he was high up there in the pecking order in the entirety of all the whole Ouroboros community.
“Hey Marcus!” An African American male waved Marcus down. His hair were braided into dreads which were slicked back into a ponytail. He was quite fit, heavily decorated with tattoos up and down both arms. On his right arm there were a giant cross mixed with a sword, and decorated around it were six angel wings. While the other side was a complete opposite of the beautiful carving of the tattoos on his right. Instead they were six bat wings elegantly merged with a grim reaper. They weren’t bad, actually I thought the tattoos looked pretty cool.
“Hey Jones.” Both of them did their own personal handshake, and finishing off with a chest bump.
“New blood?” Jones turned towards me, raising up his hand for me to shake. I took it and squeezed.
“Yep, the ninety-nine one.” Marcus slapped me on my shoulder, lurching me forward. I caught myself, before I fell into Jones.
“We been killin’ it with new recruits. This is like what? The second one of this month? That’s quite a lot since the past three years. I swear the number of Ouroboros have been increasing rapidly.”
“Well you could say it’s a good thing. As an evolved human, we’ll be able to see the reality of this world, especially against those demons.”
“Still, there’s not enough of us to be saying that.” Jones sat back down, while Marcus and I took the opposite seat from him.
“Yo, Marcus. Good to see you’re here. I was getting bored from waiting.” A young man who seem to be in his early twenties spoke, tapped on his bowl with his spoon. He was sitting right next to me on my left. Compare to Jones, he had a more geeky appearance, slim shoulder and arms, and had a thin face. I could tell that he had a bit of Latino mixed in his blood from the his eyes and hair. He was a pretty boy in girls standards.
“You know me. I got to introduce the newbie. It’s protocol.” Marcus smiled. “The one on my left is Timothy Ortiz, our tech wiz, and the one on my right with all those tattoo is Jones Robinson.”
“Alexus Tyger.” Everyone else nodded, acknowledging my presence. I sat down, and saw Marcus shifting through the digital menu that appeared on the table. His fingers swiped through the many food that were available.
I followed his action, and found out that this facility served some pretty high quality stuff. My fingers already pressed down on hamburgers and onion rings. The moment I pressed accept, the digital screen gave me count down time till delivery. I was impressed with the level of service even more.
“Yea, still you get to engrossed in it. It’s not like you’re going to lose him to Simon. He doesn’t compare a cent to you.”
“Doesn’t matter. What’s important is that we don’t push the new bloods like Simon and get them killed. I swear he’s trying to start a cult with his demon killer bullshit. Wait, let me take it back, he calls himself the new wave of humanity: The Enlighten Beings.”
“Though you got to say that it’s pretty cool.” Timothy replied. He was chewing on a meat loaf, while listening in on the conversation.
“Sure it’s pretty cool, but right now we don’t know much about the demon except for what we all experienced. We’re not some heroes that goes around saving people, we can barely stay alive. Plus look at how the media label us. Killers. Murders. Outcast. Unwanted.” I could tell that he wasn’t pleased with how the media was portraying us as a whole. Even I couldn’t help but feel a bit down at the labels we were given and the labels actually stung.
“Being a hero sounds badass than being a villain. They just don’t know what they are dealing with. If only the ‘normals’ could see…” Timothy thought it over on what he had said. I could tell that something was spinning in his head, thinking over what we just talked about.
“True, but right now our priorities are different. We need to survive these demon attacks when we one day get out,” said Marcus.
“I’m sorry normals?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“People who aren’t like us,” said Jones. “Though I believe it’s makes me feel less human when he says it like that.”
“What? It’s true,” countered Timothy. “We’re not normal anymore. You need to wake up and get on with the train fast. Out there in the ‘normal’ world, we’re seen as mental. What are you going to do if you actually come across another Demon? You know just well as I that these demons are not going to let us go.”
“Still, I would like to see myself as normal like everyone else for a bit longer.”
“I swear, you’re in serious denial.”
“Let me have some peace of mind for now, eventually I’ll run with the program.”
“You better wake up fast before you get killed.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine.”
Timothy shook his head, and continued eating. A man wearing all blue with a company Logo written Seventh Sanctum Corporation. It was a simple double winged design with a sword cutting through both wings. The man walked over with two plates of food.
Marcus raised his hand, he was handed the food and Marcus happily accepted it.
“Hamburger with onion rings?”
I raised mine, and took the food hungrily. It’s been a long time since I had actual full coarse meal, I was skipping out on a couple of meals to save money. Right now, I didn’t needed to hold back. It took a lot of restraint not to wolf down the food, and instead actually take my time to enjoy every single bite.
“Anything else?” The man in blue asked.
“No, thanks Harry,” said Marcus as he waved his hand away.
“No problem. If you need something else you got the menu to order from.” He left, leaving the four of us alone once again.
Jones leaned over, and he whispered. “I got good news. Simon is planning a break out from the facility.”
“I’m not sure that’s a good idea right now.” Marcus eyes scrunched up. “He’s putting us all in danger.”
“I don’t think so. We can finally get back on with our real lives, plus we won’t be caged in this building for the rest of our lives.”
“There is a reason we’re here you know, it’s best to use it to our advantage before we attempt to escape.”
“Still, I would like to live a normal life. I still got a girlfriend waiting for me back outside.”
“That’s been three years. I put money on it that she has forgotten about you after what you have done.”
I couldn’t help but ask. “What did he do?”
“Killed a young demon girl, she was recently born demon too. Swats were on him in a flash, he was on death row till the CEO of Seventh Sanctum brought him in.”
“We all know that was a demon,” Jones countered.
“I thought you wanted to be a normal.” Timothy goaded with a smug smile on his face.
“Shut up, you know what I mean.”
“Damn it, fine! They are a normal and I’m not. Happy?!” Jones was getting pissed.
Jones scowled. I could tell that Timothy was having fun annoying Jones. “Anyways,” he cleared his throat and his voice went down into a whisper again. “It’s going down in a couple days. Are you in or out?”
“Out,” said Marcus. “The safest place is here for now.”
“Same.” Timothy replied. “Right now, I have everything I need. They willing to let me play with some new toys that you won’t see on the streets.”
“What about you?” Jones turned towards me, hoping that I would say yes.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave this place yet. Free food, not worrying about paying bills, and even a roof over my head, it’s on. Freedom from stress. Yep, I couldn’t beat that. “Well..”
“Think about it. You’ll see why this place isn’t right. There seriously something wrong with this whole place, mark my words it’s not what you guys think it is.”
“Sure~” Timothy shrugged his shoulder not caring what Jones had said.
“I’ll think about it.” Still, I on the other hand actually took his words to heart, who knows what kind of messed up science experiment could be going on here, and if there was a hint of it, I was for sure getting out of here.
“Good.” Jones felt satisfied with my words. “You’ll see a lot of things that’ll be happening, I suggest you to keep your ears and eyes peeled open.”
“Don’t take him to seriously, he’s just way to paranoid,” said Timothy.
“I’m not, you’re just too relax about this whole shit.”
“Guys, relax. We got other things to worry about,” said Marcus. He held up his hands to stop the two.
“Such as?” I asked. Was there something else that’s going to happen?
“We got physical to go through.” Marcus had a wide grin on his face. I wondered what he had in his mind for him to have such a silly grin.
“What’s with that smile?” I couldn’t help but ask.
Timothy snorted and chuckled. He nudged Marcus with a knowing grin. “You’ll see.”
“Excuse me?” I was completely confused not understanding what they were talking about.
“Girls.” Jones said with a knowing tone, but he wasn’t as excited as the two.
“Oh…” Then it hit me, so far I haven’t seen a single female here in the cafeteria. I searched around, but everyone was a male.
“We’re divided into two groups. We don’t get to see the girls except on examination,” replied Timothy answering my question without even asking.
“Well boys, let’s go meet our future prospective girlfriends,” said Marcus with a chuckle as he was the first one to get up.
“Right behind you.” Timothy followed after, eventually I got up as well. Girls, such thought haven’t even crossed my mind for a very long time. I was actually looking forward to them, but what I was definitely enjoying was the three new comrades that I had made in the short amount of time I have spent here. Maybe my life was actually turning better than I thought.
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