They took care of me, they trained me, they cared for me. But why? Why did they care?
My codename is Zev, I don’t know my real name, I was taken by a group of soldiers and scientists. They said they found me abandoned inside a wardrobe in a hut in the middle of a deep forest somewhere in the outer border of Deinusia. They took me into their secret bunker where the remains of the country of Deinusia reside. I have lived and trained most of my life in this bunker and this week will be my first time venturing the world outside.
The bunker accommodates a small number of scientists and two platoons of soldiers, A and B which each consists of three squads and each squad having eight soldiers that splits into two teams. I’m in the second team of the third squad of platoon B so I live in Section B-III. My team consists of four soldiers, with one being an officer, my team’s leader, a Felinoan man with an athletic build and a scar under his right eye, his name is Luther von Tor, codenamed Oz, and the rest being junior enlisted soldiers.
Life in the bunker is well-organized, just like in the military, we are given schedules and routines that we have to follow every single day from waking up until five in the afternoon and we get rest every evening and Sunday. After waking up, the first thing we do is to make our bed and get ready for morning exercise. My whole squad gets exercise in one of the gym rooms, there are machines and tools for us to exercise with, we also sometimes get trained in martial arts by the staff sergeant. After exercising, we get our breakfast and shower, after that we all go to our chosen jobs that we pick, since I am still new, I get to try each of the jobs first before deciding on one.
This week, the job that I get to try is the technical engineering job, the job where my team leader works in. Technical engineering specialists conduct land surveys, make maps and prepare detailed plans and drawings for construction projects. They occasionally provide maps that are used to locate military targets and plot troop movements. My leader brought me along with him to the technical engineering office and introduced me to the work team.
The leader started to introduce me. “This is Zev, 14 years old,” he pointed, “he will be joining us with our training. Zev here has good eyesight with superior natural night vision which would make him really useful for surveying the land outside at night, and he’s quite nimble.” he explained, “I personally think he would be perfect for this type of job.” He added.
“Whoa, night vision? Are you part Felinoan? I can’t see your ears or tails” asked a curious member
“No, Professor Harper says that I might be a similar case to that of a Felinoan but I share more abilities with canines and not felines” I explained
“Yes, Zev here has capabilities and abilities similar to that of a wolf, but he looks entirely human. Anyway now,” the leader clapped, “we shall get ready to venture outside, everyone go prepare!” the leader commanded
Everyone rushes to make a line and each is provided with a bag of equipment. The leader gave me a bag, inside there are hydration packs, food, survival essentials, and a device to take an image of the surroundings and record it topographically. The leader then walks up to the front of the line and turns towards us.
“Alright, everyone, remember, we will be venturing outside the bunker, outside the bunker are the remains of the country of Deinusia, it was obliterated by the second Corday, the creation of the Empire. They are our enemy and they are wary of us so they would carry out patrols around the area. If you encounter or catch sight of a Zwede soldier, just flee to your team and report. Don’t engage, I repeat, don’t engage. Our only job is to scout the area and record any environmental changes.” The leader explained
All 18 of us marched along through the bunker towards the entrance, the entrance gate standing three meters tall started opening up, radiant light of the sun seeped through the opening, everyone marched together outside. The warm sun gently fell on my skin as I marched. It felt comfortable, like a warm blanket enveloping my entire body. I started to see my surroundings. In every direction I see, there are only ruins covered by vegetation and trees, which looks like the perfect illustration of a forest from a book. Seems like the ruins of Deinusia were abandoned and never was restored into another country. I look back from where I come from and I don’t see anything resembling a bunker, it just looks like another demolished building, the scientists really did a great job at hiding it.
The leader splits us into three groups and makes each group go in a separate direction, I get to go with the leader towards the North.
“So, how is it Zev?” asked the leader
Then I say with excitement, “Everything feels new, the warm sunlight touching my face, the smell of fresh air straight from the
lush green leaves, the squishy feeling of dirt under my boots. It’s really calming,” I sighed “I wish I could live out here.”
The leader smirked, “Well, if you stay in this job, you would get out a lot, I personally already memorized the area two kilometers North of the bunker. Now, I have found a place for us to stop and take some time to rest. If we just keep walking at this pace for another two hours, we would arrive there in time. When we arrive, everyone should take some rest then start investigating the area when it’s darker.” Said the leader
Everyone continues to walk, having small chatters while also still being aware of our surroundings. I asked the leader if he had ever been married, he told me that he had a wife and two beautiful twin girls. Before the rebellion of Deinusia broke out, his wife was disagreeing in how her husband thinks of the Zwedeans and she left with both twins to the Empire of Zwede, leaving him alone in Deinusia. He then revealed that he actually was a high-ranking soldier in the rebellion, he was on a mission outside of Deinusia when Svitia Sukrasses was caught and when the country was obliterated by Maria Suendi. The moment he came back, it was all gone. He was wandering around the ruins until suddenly he heard a human calling him out, a scientist. The scientist knew who he was and invited him to the bunker, where he started to live and train other lost soldiers wishing for the best to come. Then he started asking me
“Zev, what is your goal in life?”
“Mine? Hmm, I want to explore the rest of the world. I want to meet people, go to other countries, go to a beach, see a sea, with the people I met along the way. That would be my goal in life.” I explained
“Hopefully this war ends soon.” Said the leader
After a few more steps we have arrived at the site the leader has found before. It’s the perfect place to take some rest, there’s a flowing river for us to refill our water for the way back and a few sitting spots for us to take a break. After a 15 minutes break the leader goes up and briefs us once again about the operation. After the briefing everyone goes out in pairs in every direction, and I get to be with the leader.
“You’ll be with me.”
“Where are we going?”
“I saw Zwedean soldiers roam around a spot nearby the last time I was here, so we have to check there”
The leader led me to a part of the forest where he saw the soldiers. We then proceeded to check around it and found nothing. We checked on the trees, I found some weird looking symbols on the bark of the trees, so I called out to the leader.
“Hey Oz, come see this”
“Hmm, I never see this symbol before, they probably have a secret code that tells us what they hid here, let’s go deeper,” said Oz
We begin to move deeper into the forest, I started to smell something, something pungent, a weird vapor that has a familiar scent, somewhere in the bunker.
“Do you smell that?” I asked
“Umm, no. You do have better sense of smell than me, what is it?” asked the leader
“I’m not sure, it smells familiar, I swear I have smelled it before at the bunker” I said
“Oh, I found something here under the dirt” I said while kneeling down. I started sweeping off the dirt and it showed a sign, the text on the sign started to reveal itself. Then I realized that it read
DAN ER MIN S
Suddenly, the weird scent started to be clear, I started to remember where I last smelled the scent, it was the smell of TNT. My mind went blank, I started panicking, turned around to see my leader and saw myself get launched by an explosion from the landmine underneath. I was launched to a nearby tree. The last thing I remember seeing was my leader’s shocked face from above me when I was
lying down a couple meters away from the explosion under a tree. I didn’t suffer any other major injuries other than losing my right arm. My leader quickly stopped my bleeding and carried me away while calling on the other pairs to retreat to the bunker because the Zwedean might try and inspect the area.
The operation ended early, everyone retreated back to the bunker, it was around midnight when we arrived. I was brought to medical care right away, Professor Harper immediately worried about me and personally treated me. Professor Harper has been a father figure for me in this bunker, he was the first person who took care of me ever since I was found. He taught me everything I needed to know to live and socialize in the bunker.
Professor Harper says “You’re really lucky, if you weren’t so tough you would have lost more than an arm, I have made an artificial arm from my own research in coronium engineering. I just need to tweak it a bit to make it fit your size. I am hopeful that you have the capability of using a Coronium device. You are a unique specimen after all, you do have Coronium inside you, it’s the reason why you have the abilities of a wolf while looking completely human. That arm would give you abilities that are out of this world, abilities to manipulate Fate energy. I just wish you are able to use it for good.
For the next couple days, I continued my original routine, waking up, exercising, eating breakfast, but I go straight to Professor Harper’s laboratory right after, for him to examine me while waiting for him to finish his research, my leader visited me one time, I am glad he is safe, I have also thanked him for saving my life. He told me that a couple minutes after the explosion happened, a bunch of Zwedean soldiers started to investigate and patrol the area. The leader hid inside the bushes while also covering me, waiting until other pairs started to arrive and help us flee the area safely. After the incident, the technical engineering work team has been having difficulties with more and more Zwedean soldiers patrolling the area outside, thankfully the bunker is really well hidden.
My artificial arm surgery was performed just the day after the leader’s visit. I woke up two hours after the surgery, I can feel my new arm, but everything else feels different. I can’t think straight, I can’t control myself, I feel like I am lacking free will.
“Oh, you’re awake. Hmm let’s see, your vitals are great. How are you?” said a familiar voice
“My body feels fine” I said
“Can you move your right arm for me?”
I lifted my arm, it feels so light it’s as if there’s nothing at all. The arm looks so real, no one would even think it’s fake by just looking at it.
“Alright, I will let you rest for a day, then I will do experiments on you.”
The day after I was brought along to the firing range, they wanted to see me use a gun. I picked up a pistol and started aiming, suddenly I felt as though my eyesight was enhanced, my arm felt stable and when I shot, my arm could stop the recoil of the gun. I shoot with astonishing precision and accuracy with only a brief moment between shots. Professor Harper was amazed, and so was my leader. I get more training in martial arts for close quarters combat, I move way more agile than before, my body feels light, and my right arm possesses superhuman strength, it can punch through a concrete wall if I try.
After a few days of rehabilitation and training, my leader said I am ready to be given a special order. The technical engineering work team has spotted and marked the locations of Zwedean soldier’s campsites; they have been staying in the wilderness ever since the landmine incident. They are ordering me to kill them all, I have never even faced an enemy before let alone kill any. But as a soldier I am forced to follow orders from my higher-ups.
I went out of the bunker alone, with only a bag of food and water. They placed a tracking device on me so I couldn’t roam outside my designated area. I arrived at the camp closest to the bunker, I saw three Zwedean soldiers chatting with each other, I aimed my pistol to one of their heads, pulled my trigger and time slowed down, my aim glided to the other’s heads and I pulled the trigger again, and again. I shot all three soldiers in less than a second. All of them got shot in the same spot, this camp is clear, just four more to go.
I went to the other camps and killed more soldiers, the more I kill the less I feel human, I really hope this war ends soon. After finishing the last camp, I got called out to the bunker to let the clean-up team get rid of the corpses.
When I arrived at the bunker I was rewarded and highly praised. But I don’t feel right, I don’t know if that’s what I wanted.
“There’s my boy!” said Professor Harper, “How was it? Should be really easy for you, eh? It is my proud creation after all. Now, would you mind coming to my laboratory for a minute.”
I arrived at the laboratory and Professor Harper said he would like to sedate me and take some of my blood for an experiment. I find it quite suspicious but I can’t help but comply. I feel like I am being controlled by something. The Coronium in my blood resisted the sedation, I am pretending to be asleep. I heard Professor Harper talking to himself
“It seems like he is unable to disobey me, I might have succeeded, I just have to try and make the other soldiers into more dolls.”
He is treating me as a crafting material. He saw that I have the potential to be compatible with his coronium research so he sought me out. It’s why he cared for me. He just wanted to use me as a tool for his own selfish gain.
I immediately stood up, before he could even speak, I grabbed and held onto his throat, choking him and finally killed him. I grabbed my equipment and started running towards the exit and smashed through the door, the alarm started blaring, the guards started to attack me, trying to neutralize me. I could avoid every single bullet being shot at me. I ran straight towards the gate of the bunker and fled.
Under a tree somewhat far from the bunker, I removed the tracking device inside my chest and went towards the South. I am going towards Eindernesia, hoping I can find people I can place my trust on.