Marcus and Timothy were gearing up, ready to go. They were thrilled at the prospect of going out with their new toys and using them. Timothy was exhilarated, more than Alexus gave him credit for, making him wonder if Timothy was a bit trigger happy.
“Brian, where are they coming from?” Marcus asked if he got his handgun ready. He then started to head towards the door, leaned against the wall, and peeked out the side.
“From the top floor, flying down from the helicopter,” said Brian. He was the young teen that came bursting through the door, looking half ragged and crazed. “They’re coming by the dozens!”
“What type?” Marcus fished out a pack of candy that he had in his pocket. Of course, Alexus didn’t expect him to have a lollipop, which he brought up to his mouth, and he suckled on it like it wasn’t a big problem. This wasn’t the only time Alexus had seen Marcus suck on a lollipop before, but it didn’t happen often.
“I believe it’s a spirit type,” Brian gripped his arm, and he bit his lips.
“Spirit type. That’s it?” Marcus nodded his head and waved his hand in front of him as if it wasn’t such a big deal. “I thought we got a couple of Adult types or maybe more Mythical Types, but Spirit? That’s not such a big deal.”
“You don’t understand; it’s not just a normal animal,” Brian spoke, his body shaking, looking around as if the demons were there. “They’re five times bigger than normal!” He threw up his hand in exaggeration.
“Wait, Five times the normal size? What are they, tigers!?”
Brian went silent. He fidgeted a couple of times, his gaze cast down, and then he looked up with a half-crazed expression. “Rats.”
Marcus raised his eyebrow at Brian, who was serious about what he had said.
“Rats?” Timothy broke out in complete disbelief. “You’re saying demon rats are flying down from the helicopter out there?”
“Yes,” replied Brian seriously.
“I can’t believe this shit. Brian’s afraid of rats.” Timothy barked out, his hand on his stomach as he bent over laughing. “Oh man, I’m going to remember this one.”
“You don’t understand how dangerous these are! They’re not just one or two; they’re coming in swarms!”
The girls stared at Brian uneasily at what he had said; they shifted back and forth, looking at him and back at Timothy. Even the other guys, excluding Marcus, were worried at the thought of demons infiltrating the building.
“Sure, buddy. Let the pro handle this.” Timothy pushed him aside and strutted forward as if it wasn’t a big deal. People started to follow behind him, curious about what he would do. Alexus had to see this so-called rat demon’s that Brian was talking about.
“You should take this more seriously, Timothy.” Crystal called out, “or you’re going to get yourself hurt.”
“Oh, please. What could a demon rat even do? Poison me to death?” He chuckled under his breath, waving his hand over his shoulder as if it was no big deal.
“You’re going to get bitten. I called it.” Crystal mumbled. Alexus was the only one who caught her words, and even he couldn’t help but agree with what she had said. If Timothy wasn’t careful, he would definitely get killed, or worse, chewed to death in the most horrible way possible. A sudden movie scene flashed through his mind of the famous rat torture on a human body. The torturers would heat up the pail that trapped the rat and force it to claw and dig its way out of the human body. It made him shudder thinking about such diabolical thoughts all of a sudden.
Alexus had to shake his head a couple of times to clear his head of those horrible thoughts. He wasn’t trying to start a horror film in his mind, but it was just doing it by itself.
The moment Timothy opened the door, a loud squeak could be heard, followed by the bang of a gunshot. They all jump at the sudden sound; everyone is tense as they look at Timothy’s shot. A small dead rat curled up was present next to his feet, twitching on its side.
“You call this five times bigger than its normal size? Seriously?” Timothy looked over his shoulder, where Brian was against the wall, terrified.
Alexus couldn’t help but look at the two. This was way too embarrassing, he thought it would be something big and dangerous, but he talked about something small. More rats started to stream into the cracked door. Nobody paid attention until Alexus noticed something strange.
These rats weren’t just scampering around mindlessly; they were twitching and spazzing out uncontrollably. Then, dark swirls of energy started to leak from their body; a hint of decay followed after tickling Alexus’ nose, putting him on edge.
“Guys,” Alexus called out. His hands quickly went to his side where the sword was.
“I’m telling you that there was no demon. So let’s just get this over with and get to the nearest computer.” Timothy replied.
“I’m with him on this, this time,” Jones replied. “I don’t like rats, but this is just child’s play.”
Alexus drew out his sword. He rushed forward and stabbed into the zigzagging rat. Black energy puffed out of its body like a shroom, causing him to cough heavily. A nasty smell that reminded him of rotten cabbages hit his lungs full force, temporarily stunning him. Another rat started to condense black energy, wrapping around its body.
He stumbled his way towards the rat, stabbing it just in time before the energy completely covered its whole body. Another puff of the horrible cabbage smell flowered out into the air, stunning him. His eyes started to water, and his chest started to hurt.
More and more rats started to waltz their way inside the room, half of them already in the process of having their body covered in the black miasma-like energy. Alexus’ body was shaking. He stumbled forward, held his breath, smashed the sword down into the next scurrying rat.
This time, he wasn’t so lucky. The one he smooshed was a rat that was strangely three times bigger than the others; green smokey substances poofed out of its body and slammed into his face. His eyes watered, he stumbled backward, collapsing onto the ground. His sword fell onto the floor with a loud clatter.
Crystal heard him fall, her head turned towards him, confused. “Alexus?” Her voice was a lot louder than before.
Everyone suddenly stopped talking, turning their head in his direction. Crystal ran over; she bent down to check if he was alright. His chest was burning, his eyes were watering from the foul poisonous smell. He couldn’t see the black energy anymore around the rats; everything was a blur.
“Alexus, are you okay?” She grabbed him by the shoulder, helping him up onto his knees.
“The…..rats….”Alexus huffed and coughed simultaneously, trying to clear out his throat.
“They’re….poisonous.” The last two words were tough to say. A sharp pain erupted next to his heart. He cringed in fear at the thought of another possible heart attack. He didn’t want to die.
Crystal’s eyes became wide, her gaze towards the rats was unsure, but she knew what Alexus meant. “We need to move now!” She grabbed the sword and helped him up. He was half leaning on her shoulder, trying to catch his breath.
“What’s wrong with him?” Timothy replied.
“Those rats are poisonous. If we stay here any longer, we’re going to be killed.”
“You serious? These pipsqueaks?” Timothy kicked one hard and let one fly straight to the wall. With a loud splat, the rat squeaked, and the handful of rats that made their way inside swiveled their heads towards Timothy. They moved as if on cue, giving it a creepy feel.
They all started to change; they bulked up with muscles becoming three to four times their average size. Their eyes turned eerily green, their fangs became two to three inches long, and their fur more rugged and matted than before. Even their screeches became deeper as they become bigger, making everyone uneasy.
“Are you serious?!” Jones cried out. He took a step back as a rat scurried in-between his legs. He freaked out into a dance.“They’re like freakin’ roaches!”
“I told you so!” Brian cried out in half hysteria.
“Calm down, boy,” Marcus spoke, annoyed at Brian’s tone of voice. “Just kick them aside, and let’s move out. We don’t have time to play with these. They’re a waste of bullets.”
“That’s a terrible idea!”
Marcus kicked a rat hard with his foot and pushed open the door. The others followed his example and started to hurriedly filter out.
I half limped, and half walked out the door with the help of Crystal. She viciously kicked at the rat demon that squealed towards her with its sharp teeth. Every time they kicked away the rat, a couple more would take their place, scurrying towards them in the hopes of biting at their legs.
As I moved away, I was able to move a lot faster. The air in my lungs started to clear up, my muscles strengthened, and my vision started to come back. When I turned towards the opposite hallway, I thought I saw more glowing green eyes staring at us in the distance and heard even more scampering feet.
The group of guys and Jones were behind us, kicking at the demon rats that tried to bite them. Jones swore as one of them crawled up his legs, and he swiftly did a stomp kick, loosening the rat off of him. Then, when it fell, he drew his leg back and angrily squashed downwards with a heavy force. The rat guts and blood splattered outwards, a pungent smell of rotten cabbage and poison drifted in the air.
“What the hell is this?!” Jones yelled out, his hand covering his face. “The damn rats are toxic!”
“I told you that they are poisonous!” hissed Crystal. She glared at Jones. “Don’t you guys ever listen?!”
“You didn’t tell us how it came out!” Jones was ticked off at the sudden puff of poison before he coughed a couple of times and stumbled back. One of the guys caught him from falling onto the ground, allowing him to reorient himself back again.
“Which way, Timothy?” Marcus glanced back towards the front; Timothy quickly led the group through the hallway.
“We’re almost there.” Timothy power walked towards the right. He took a sharp left, coming into a dark corner. “We’re here!” He started excitedly, pushing open the door.
Everyone started to filter in through the door, Alexus was brought towards one of those rolling chairs, and with a flop, he sat down. His shoulders slumped, his head felt heavy as he leaned over to catch a breath. Eventually, his breath became calm, and he glanced up. He noticed that they were in one of the shrinks’ rooms. So many books, a nice long chair for a person to lay down, a desk, sofas, and even an expensive-looking art nouveau painting on the wall, hanging over the sofa.
“Thanks,” Alexus grunted from the pain that still throbbed in his heart.
“You’re welcome.” Crystal replied; she left him the sword next to him.
A couple of loud grunts and the shuffling sound of people could be heard as the last person made it through. Then, with a slam and a few curses from Jones’s mouth, the door was locked tightly so no rats could make their way in.
Crystal made her way towards where Marcus and Timothy were; Timothy was hunched over a computer, completely engrossed in what he was doing. He could see the light blue energy swirl around his head like a halo, brilliantly sparkling in the excitement in whatever he was doing. He licked his lower lips and grinned a mischievous grin.
“Get into the Seventh Sanctum’s main database.” Crystal leaned forward, her long black hair fell forward. “The firewall used in this company isn’t like the ones you would see even in the government. So I suggest you use a different method to infiltrate the system.”
“Such as?” Timothy temporarily stopped for a moment turned his head slightly towards her, wondering what she would say.
“You’re going to need to use your magic.”
“I’ve been doing that the whole time, whenever I’m hacking. Do you think I normally hacked like the rest of the people in the world?”
“I don’t know, but apparently, you weren’t using enough of your skills to get through.” Crystal snorted at Timothy’s answer.
“Well, babe, you’re going to see how a master cracks this firewall today,” Timothy replied, not caring how Crystal was looking down on him.
“Don’t call me that.” Her voice was icy; she stared with a menacing glare.
“Yes,” she hissed. “I’m not your babe, and I dislike the sound of that word.”
“Whatever, sweetheart.” Timothy chuckled as he shrugged his shoulders and went back to work.
Crystal ground her teeth, her hands clenched up, wanting to deck him in the face.
The swirl of power around Timothy became more dark and fluid. Alexus could even feel the dense energy around him, continually rising every second. His mind was zoned in, and his fingers were typing and clicking away inhumanely fast until, eventually, the power gave off a sudden spike. Timothy threw up his hand in the air in excitement, fist-pumping as he turned around and gave Crystal a know-it-all grin.
“I told ya.” He proudly stated.
“Good job.” Marcus’ hand smacked him in the back, causing Timothy to lurch forward, almost falling into Crystal’s chest. Crystal stepped back, her hand flung outwards, popping him in the face from getting anywhere near him.
“What the hell was that for?!” He cried out in pain. He was holding his hand on his face where Crystal smacked him.
“You came too close to my personal space.” Crystal shrugged her shoulders, not caring about what she had done. Not a single hint of remorse could be seen on her face.
“That wasn’t my fault!”
“Doesn’t matter.” Crystal turned away, leaned forward, and stared at the monitor. She was busy, searching through the screen for whatever she was looking for.
Timothy rolled his shoulder, grumbling under his breath. He scooted forward back towards the table, the chair screeched forward.
“Start the system,” Crystal spoke, her gaze looking intently at the monitor.
“Start what system?” Timothy asked, confused. “I just got in, and you want me to start a system?”
“The Animus Progressium project. We don’t have time. The one-time code key is CD23EX.”
“Which file am I even looking for?” Timothy’s fingers rapidly clicked through the monitor.
“There.” Her finger touched the screen. “Click on that.”
“Wait, that was too fast. Repeat the number again one more time.”
Suddenly, they heard a loud squeaking sound and the scampering of dozens, if not possible hundreds of feet, running down the hallway. What was more shocking was the sound of some kind of gnawing sound against the door, and it was getting louder.
“What the hell is that sound?” One of the guys that followed them leaned towards the door.
“Guys, I think we got a problem,” Jones called out, his eyes widened from the sudden increase in sound.
“What is it?” Marcus looked over his shoulders towards them. Crystal and Timothy also stopped what they were doing and stared at the door.
“I think the rats are chewing their way through!”
“Pull up the cameras.” Marcus quickly replied. His eyebrow furrowed deeply; Timothy did what Marcus asked. “Shit.” He cursed so loudly everyone turned towards him.
“I don’t like the way you said that,” Jones replied with a worried expression. “I hope it’s not what I’m thinking.”
“It’s exactly what you are thinking,” Marcus replied. “We got what looks like hundreds of rats at the door.”
“What?!” Jones and the others cried out in disbelief.
“And you’re not going to like this.”
“Please, don’t say that freaky girl out there too!”
“No, but we got a couple of rats the size of a large dog.”
“Fuck!” Marcus swore.
“I told you! I told you it was a bad idea to let them stay out there without killing them! They were bound to get bigger and keep growing. I’ve heard that they can possibly reach the size of a large tiger or something!” Brian cried out. “Animal types aren’t the weakest! I’m telling you, they can become a lot more dangerous really quickly!”
“We got your point.” Marcus rubbed his head, not liking how hysterical Brian was getting.
“What’s the quickest way downstairs to the basement?”
“That would be five doors down, near the stairs. But, unfortunately, we’re too high to scale down the walls, and right now, I bet the ventilation is crawling with rats.”
“Which floor is the kid on?”
“It seems she’s making her way down as we speak. Shit. She’s heading straight for this floor.” Timothy’s voice went up an octave, not liking what he saw.
The thought of seeing that crazy little girl again with the swarms of rats at our doorstep was a terrible combination, primarily because of the way they expelled poison out of their body. But unfortunately, they weren’t equipped with hazard masks, and with one whiff of the smell, they were already coughing up a storm.
“We can’t kill them,” Alexus spoke out, finally stabilized and breathed with a more peaceful breath. The pain subsided, allowing him to stand up without as much trouble as before.
“What are you talking about?” Timothy asked, confused.
“They are a walking ball of poisonous gas. The moment you kill one, a puff of their deadly toxins will get into your system. The ones with a stronger amount of dark energy swirling around them are more potent with it.”
“And which ones are those?”
“The bigger ones.”
“It’s always the bigger one.” Timothy groaned.
“How bad do you think it’s going to affect you if you get hit with one of them?” Marcus asked.
“I don’t know, but from three puffs, I’m already weak on my knees, with distorted vision, and possibly heading straight towards the death door.” Alexus casually said it as if it was no big deal, but it was a turmoil of emotions in his mind. Having another sniff at those walking gas bombs wasn’t something he wanted to do anytime soon.
Marcus thought over what he had said. His eyebrows furrowed, and he let out an annoyed sigh.
“Everyone gets something to swing with. We’re going to play golf to get out of here.”
For a moment, everyone was confused about what Marcus had just said.
“Come on, what are you waiting for?” He clapped his hand loudly for them to get moving.
It took a second to register; everyone scuttled around to find something to use. Some used umbrellas, some found actual golf clubs, and others even found a bat or two.
“Timothy, did you enter the code?” Crystal turned back to the monitor. She frowned when she still saw the blinking screen that they were still on.
“Uh, no. I forgot.”
“You had a simple task, and you forgot.” She sighed, shaking her head. The thought of forgetting something so important made her stare at him in disbelief. “Quickly, start it now.”
“On it.” His fingers typed the words on the computer, and with a last loud tap, he smiled with a triumphant grin towards her. “Done.”
Suddenly, a loud groaning-like sound could be heard from all around them. Alexus thought the walls would start moving from the mechanical sound of something clicking inside the wall. Instead, a loud hum followed after, the lights flickered and dimmed, making it a lot more difficult to see.
“What just happened?” Jones asked, utterly confused. He glanced around wearily. “We’re not going to have the whole building transforming on us, right?” He halfheartedly chuckled to himself.
“We’re moving out now,” Marcus said. He had a golf club in his hand.
Aleus kind of saw it ridiculous to see so many of them having golf clubs. He guesses the psychiatrist for this room was a fanatic of golf.
Something strange was floating out of the ventilation. A swirl of soft, light blue-colored energy seeped outwards and down onto the ground, creeping towards them. Alexus jumped back in alarm, completely confused at what was encroaching upon them in seconds.
“What the hell is this?!” Alexus shouted.
“Who-” said Marcus, confused.
The light blue energy wrapped around each one of them, causing Marcus to go into a temporary daze. Everyone in the room’s eyes started to slightly gloss over; they had a slightly strange look in their eyes. Even when Alexus tried to blow away the energy that was wrapping around him quickly, a soft glow of gold erupted out of his body, covering him gently in its embrace.
Suddenly, a hum of power could be felt throughout the building, creating a powerful pull of force that even he couldn’t resist. For some reason, he had to make it down to the basement, even if it was the last thing he had to do.