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Hope turned around slowly, surveying the room. She was surrounded by chalk-white walls, metal counters, papers, and broken test tubes all over the place. A door to the left stood locked. On one side of the room was a glowing blue screen with a keypad, glowing the same color. The other side bore a large gaping hole in the wall, with boards sloppily nailed on, through the spaces between the wood, she saw nothing but dark and dirt.

Quickly, she ran over to the panel, keeping her eyes on the keypad, she entered in the code, whispering the letters as she punched them in, "R... A-R-I... T-A... N."

She jumped as a buzzing sound rang out and the walls around the panel opened. Revealing rows upon rows of artilery. She smiled and sighed softly as she walked toward the room of weapons.

---

Sarah opened the laboratory door and held a rifle up, "Look! She left this in the lobby."

"I can see that."

"That means she must have Max's gun! Lord knows what she'll do."

"Shoot him?"

"Rob! You are so close to being fired."

He chuckled as he turned away. His smile faded as he heard the click of the rifle being cocked.

In a steady monotone, Sarah spoke, "And I do mean fired. One more smartassed comment or stunt. And you will be unemployed for a life time."

Rob shook his head, "You're crazy. You know that right?"

Sarah's eyes widened in anger, "I'm warning you, Rob. One more insult and I'll--"

He spun around, "What? Shoot me?"

Sarah jumped back, gritted her teeth and squeezed the trigger.

---

Hope walked into the newly discovered room. Grabbing some ammunition and a magnum. She grabbed another magnum, intending to give it to Max.

A green eye appeared through one of the spaces in the boarded up hole, shining from the light of the room. A pale, green hand reached through and gripped onto a board. It watched Hope move about, grabbing weapons. Hunger rising within it, it gripped the board tighter, causing it to snap.

Hope turned around quickly and gasped. A large pair of yellow eyes were watching her, a clawed hand holding onto a broken piece of wood.

It dropped the wood, "Rairgh!", it lunged foward and landed in front of her.

Hope stepped back quickly and steadied one of the magnums at it. It growled and hissed, its pale green body supported on all fours. It had no tail, hair, or scales. It hissed again and leaped at Hope. She fell back and fired repeatedly at the creature, it groaned and snarled in pain. The sound of the shots rang loudly in the small lab. The white door opened and Max stepped through.

Just then, the creature turned to run, banging into the door and knocking Max down. One of its claws tearing through the skin of his forearm.

"Ahh!", he yelled out in pain.

Hope ran to him and kneeled by his side. The creature burst through the boards and ran down the tunnel, shrieking in pain. Both Hope and Max shielded their faces from the debris of the boards.

"Are you alright?", Hope looked down worriedly at him.

"Yeah. I'm fine. Just a scratch.", he held up his arm, blood gushed from the new wound. Hope took out gauze from her jacket pocket once more and wrapped it around the cut.

"I turned off the main security cameras. No one can see us now. Most of the doors are unlocked, we can move pretty freely."

Nodding, she carefully tightened the gauze and sighed. Max looked into her eyes, easily telling that she was tired and scared.

"Hope?"

"Yeah?", she answered without looking up. "Are you alright?"

She smiled, "Of course."

He smiled back sincerely. Watching as Hope stood up and put the gun she was holding onto a counter, her eyes looking at the creature's blood on the floor.

"Well, I got some weapons. You can go in, take what you need. Stick to something powerful. I emptied a full round from the magnum into that thing and it didn't go down..."

"Okay, but you should have shot its chest.", he stood up.

"Yeah. Max..."

"Hmm?"

"What, what was that?"

"Same as the ones with fur. Except reptilian."

Hope cringed, "That thing looked almost human."

"At one time, it was."

---

Rob grunted and fell to the ground. A bullet hole right in the middle of his chest. Immediately, he passed out.

Sarah sighed, "See? See what you made me--"

A beeping sound came from a computer, she quickly ran over to it and pressed a button. A middle aged man's face appeared on the screen.

"Hello Ms. Clauden."

"Hello, sir."

"How are things in the city?"

"Well, not so good, sir."

"How so?"

"We've, we've had an... Outbreak, sir. And a severe cutdown in population and staff."

Rob opened his eyes on the word "staff".

"I see. Where is Daniel?"

"Dead, sir...", a sudden sadness washed over her, remembering her late father.

"That is most unfortunate.", he lowered his eyes slowly and was silent.

"Mayor Frost?"

He looked back up at the screen, "What caused the incident?"

"The test subjects, the ones we've been experimenting on have escaped. We don't now how. A few were killed. But most are free in the city."

"I assume... That my city is in ruins by now?"

"Yes."

He sighed, putting his hands together and bringing them up to his mouth, "Has the Beta been released?"

"No, sir. He is dorment."

"Is he aware of his purpose?"

"No, sir."




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