Requiem

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Prologue: 

“Is it ready?” 

Dr. Martin steps into the large, spacious fifth floor of Lab No. 12, a cracked cardboard clipboard in his hands. Messy brown strands of hair frame his skinny pale face and almost fall into his mismatching eyes. 

While waiting for his subordinates’ response, he pushes his large circular glasses further up on the bridge of his nose and steps into place behind the many scientists that sit in front of a large, glass sheet that curves against one of the large walls that section off the room from the outside dirt. 

Due to the large amounts of secrecy in Crescent City, labs numbered higher than ten have been buried deep within the ground; with their exact location unknown to residents -even if they lie far beneath their houses. 

A few lights flash on the screen. 

Within moments, it flickers to life and a blueprint map of a large crescent-shaped city is depicted on it. Surrounding the city is a vast expanse of dark charcoal gray, pinpointed locations revealing an abundance of obstacles and snags. 

“Almost, sir. Should we release them before or after the test subjects are transported?” One of the scientists glances back over his shoulder. 

Dr. Martin pauses for a few moments, “Before.” 

A button is pressed.

The screen flashes, a warning box pulsing within the center of the large rectangle of plasma. They ignore it and continue on. Several small blinking dots appear within each pinpointed location inside the field of charcoal gray. 

After a couple of seconds, the dots split into two, and then four, and spread out all across the charcoal. They multiply like rodents and move in large groups, like a herd of cows, with one or two scouting a head and several others lagging back behind. 

One of the scientists presses a button and the screen zooms in on a dot. 

The image contorts to that of a gruesome creature with a humanoid shape. It fumbles through the dead, charred trees that surround it and moves quickly for a walking corpse, with the normal speed of an agile human. 

It stops, pausing to break a tree branch.  

Dr. Martin nods in approval. “Alright, send in the test subjects.” 

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