"I never imagined in all my life that I'd end in a place like this. The choices I had made during my life were minuscule compared to the choices I had to make to survive." - Subject 9-6A (Thrill Seeker)
Silence fell over the pitch black room where a young man, roughly in his mid twenties, lay as still as the moonlight covering him. The jagged concrete floor tattooed his entire back side. In an instant the silence was cut short by rattling metal. With a short click following it, a steady flow of cool air filled the room. The man wakes with a shiver in the darkness. He blinks, but it is still too dark. Again he blinks, but the space around him remains pitch black. He tries to speak, to call out for someone, but to no avail. Some form of cloth, damp between his lips muffles his words. Alone in the dark he can hear his heart drumming against his chest. He lifts his arms as much as possible toward his face. He can only raise them a few inches from his body before he stops. A thick rope around his waist fastened his hands together. The man takes a deep breath and pulls on the rope. His fingers follow it down and as far around his waist as possible. The knot was out of reach, threaded through the belt loops; it was tied in the back of his pants. The man rolls over. Before he can make another move he hears the clicking of chains. He pauses a moment. The sound of his breaths fills the room. He moves his legs again, turning on his stomach. The chains click together with every motion. He pauses and allows himself a deep breath. The man tries to lift his left foot. It only lifts a few inches before the chains pull it back. The same with his right foot. Restrained and blindfolded, the young man weighs his options in the chill of the night.
(Struggle To Get Free)
The young man jerks his body in every way that his restraints will allow, grunting with the sensation of heat overcoming his wrists as the rope aggressively hugs them. The chains bang against the floor as he kicks his bare feet. The concrete scrapes his arms and legs. He pulls his knees up to his chest and takes hold of the chains. With all his might he pulls as hard as he can, but they do not release. He feels around his ankles and finds a small padlock on his right foot. There is a small hole in the center of it. The young man rolls over on his back. He shoves his fingers into the pockets of his jeans and pulls out nothing, but lint. He slams his head against the floor and growls at himself. In the silence of the night, he lays still. Then he hears it. The sound of metal dragging across the ground. There is a long clicking of chains following behind it. The sound is off in the distance. A low, deep growl echoes behind it in the darkness. The young man's breaths pick up. The hairs on his neck stand with the chill of air dancing down his spine. Beads of sweat rain down on his face from his short brown hair. He can hear it's steps pounding the floor. One after another it's claws scratch the ground with every step. The beast was closing in.
(Continue To Struggle)
There is no time to waste. The young man twists every which way. He strains himself pulling on the rope and rolling across the floor. The growling seemed to be in his ear. It's gets louder as the dragging metal draws near. The young man buries his face into the floor as he goes for one last jerk. The rope digs into his wrists, the chains press against his ankles, he stretches his entire body against the concrete, then... The blindfold slides down against his cheeks and sits across the bridge of his wide nose. His hazel eyes search the room. A quick glance reveals a small metal key lying before him on the ground. Beyond it were two sharp blades, daggers, rigged up against the wall by two pulleys and rope that threaded through a fist sized hole in the wall. The blades tapped the floor in rhythm. Another deep growl from outside the door sent a shock up the young man's spine. A sudden silence fell over the room. At the door he could see a small light attempting to sneak in. It was accompanied by a large shadow. Whatever was coming for him had reached its destination. What could be done?
The young man frantically takes the key and raises his knees as high as possible. He takes hold of the padlock. With a trembling hand he forces the key into the hole of the padlock. It turns only half way, but he was determined to get free. He jiggles the key and shakes the padlock in his hands. It's no use. The will key not budge an inch more. A deep groan follows a heavy breath through his lips. He tries to turn the key. It seems stuck. The young man applies a bit of force as he tries again to release the key from lock. It snaps. The young man jerks and pulls on the padlock, growling wildly at his misfortune. He throws the broken half of the key as hard as he can into the darkness. He glances back at the door once more. The shaking of keys at the door paralyze him. What now?
Time was of the essence. The young man lunges forward. He scrambles across the floor leaving a light trail of blood behind. Up on his knees in front of the dancing blades, the young man watched carefully. Every time one blade dropped, the other rose. The young man paced himself. He waited until one of the blades reached its highest peak and pressed the rope between his hands up against the blade, sawing at his bondage. The rope halts the mechanism. He can hear the chains jerking as they try to break free against him. He pushes up against the blades on his toes. Finally the rope snaps. The young man groans as the blade falls through the rope and slices one arm. The second blade shoots up against the back of his other arm. A pool of blood starts to gather at his knees.
The darkness of the room fades over his shoulder. A deep growling bears over the creaking of the door behind him. The young man turns his head back toward the creeping light. Behind the door, a single paw steps into the room. The three talons on it's bony-black toes were as sharp as the hanging blades. It's skin was dried and clinging.
WHAT IS THAT?!
The young man frantically scans the room. He looks over the blade set-up. The rope was out of reach for him to turn the blades around and cut it. The threading through the walls prevented him from untying them. The metal box seemed to hold it all together. It had a latch with a key hole in the back for opening. There was a small window just barely out of reach in the corner illuminating his concrete bed in the center of the room. Across the window, just above the young man's head was a vent. It was silent.
I have to get out of here! Now!
(Climb Into Vent)
The bladed paw was followed by a low and intense growling. In with the second paw, came the body of the beast. Standing like a man on two legs, the dog faced beast turned towards the young man. A thick black liquid escaped its snarling mouth. Its reared white fangs were stained red. It held the door open with one arm protruding from it's rib cage. The arm above it held a short metal spear that was chained to the long scythe held by both of the creatures right hands. The young man looked on with his mouth wide open. Each step into the room was accompanied by the rattling chains that drowned out the sound of the blades tapping. Even the clicking of the necklace of human skulls around the beasts neck was silent. The young man sat frozen as the beast halted a few feet from the door, sniffing the air. It turned in his direction. It's solid grey eyes never blinked. Then... the beast let out a booming roar that echoed in through the young man's ears, down into his chest, and shook his heart.
The young man scrambled to his feet. With the beast drawing closer, he pulled and yanked on the vent cover behind him. Finally! The covered pops off and hits the floor with the young man. On his back, he catches glimpse of the beast lifting the long scythe over his head. The young man rolls out of the way and wastes no time jumping up and taking hold of the vent. He doesn't look back to see the scythe bury itself into the concrete. He doesn't check to see the beast ready its spear in his direction as he climbs up, but instead the young man calls out in pain at the sharp piercing of his flesh. The beast withdrawals its spear and lifts it higher.
The young man pushes on into the darkness of the vent. His body banged against the walls as he thrusts himself through as quickly as he could. Not far into the vent the young man looks back. His vision of the beast is cut off by the spear the zooms past his face and impales the vent. Blood drips from the spear's blade. The pulling of the blades prompts the young man to pull back against the wall of the vent as the spear flies back towards the beast. It seems to waste no time with the spear again. The cracking of bones draws the young man's eyes back. The beast was pulling it's body through the vent with all four arms. It's tongue dragged along the floor of the vent as it chased after the young man. In a panic the young man pushes forward. The vent's shaft suddenly dropped off and so did the young man.
The young man's scream filled the emptiness of the room he left behind. The beast's growl chases the man into the darkness. In his decent, the young man catches a brief glimpse of a wall of light. He raises his arms to block his face. As his body dents in the wall of the vent the young man cries out again. The unbearable pain in his shoulder forces a hand up on it. He can hear the beast coming. His body felt weak. Blood was oozing from the spears contact points on the young man's right leg and arm. He could the warmth of the red fluids streaming down the side of his face.
He had to make a choice before the beast arrived. If it thought he was dead, maybe it would leave. Or maybe he could chance escape? There were three exits in front of him; a lit path before him, a lit path behind, and a vent cover to his left the looked over a small office space.
(Escape Vent Cover)
The young man pulls himself closer towards the vent cover. He pushes and pulls on the cover, but it doesn't move. The young man drags himself up a few inches and aligns his foot with the cover. As he kicks the cover, he can feel his leg begin to throb harder than it did before. He can feel a steady flow of blood running down his leg. The young man looks down to find a gash on the side of his leg. He winces as his fingers gently brush across it. As the young man drops his head and takes a minute to catch his breath, the shaft above him begins to rattle. the young man's eyes shoot open. His heart beats against his chest. He kicks the cover again. The sound of small pieces of metal hitting a hard surface puts a smile on his face. He kicks the cover again as hard as he can and sends it flying across the room.
The young man quickly slides out of the vent. His balance gives way as he lands on a small desk against the wall beneath him and he falls to the floor. The young man pushes himself up and glances around the spinning room. He blinks his eyes several times to clear his vision.
On the wall behind him was the small table and at its feet was a lamb on its side with a cord wrapped around the base. In the right corner of the wall was a large fish tank that appeared to be built into the floor and wall behind it. In the left corner was a wood shelf adorned with plants, photos, and small figurines. The wall directly across from the young man the entire wall was covered in various books of old and new carefully placed along a wide bookshelf. In the center of the room, facing the door, was a large bronze statue of a bear standing on two legs with two cubs standing at its feet on a round red rug. Behind the statue was an L-shaped desk with three monitors evenly placed along its focal points facing the chair at the desk. The was a pile of papers neatly stacked on the desk next two three files laid about. In front of the monitors was a closed laptop. The wall behind the desk was made of glass with a closed shutter on the other side. On the opposite wall in front of the bear was a coat and hat rack with various articles of clothing hung about.
The young man looked back towards the vent. Silent as the night. His eyes wondered around the room before landing on the door. With half his body covered and blood and his legs still bound together...
(Escape The Office)
The young man bolts for the door. The chains on his feet clank and bang together between his legs. He swings the door open. Left or right? The young man limps towards the double doors at the end of the hall to the left. It was the closest option. The quickest exit. He presses the hands on the doors. No luck! He pushes again. The door barely budges. Between the doors, the young man can see chains on the other side. He bangs the door with his fists. The young man looks through the glass on the door. The hall was pure white from the ceiling to the tiles. There was a single cart in the hall with a plate of food on it and a glass of water beside a door against the wall. The young man bangs and calls for help a few times, but to no avail. No one's home.
The young man back tracks and heads towards the opposite end of the hall. He stumbles past his own trail of blood from the office door and towards the first door of the hall. The door knob doesn't move. He moves towards the next door. It's locked as well. The young man continues trying the next four doors until he gets towards the end of the hall. The young man presses against the doors handle. The door is much heavier than it looks. It opens slowly and reveals a flight of stairs. The number next to the door read "48". The young man looks over the rail of the stairs towards the bottom. He takes a deep breath and starts his decent.
With the chains limiting his mobility, the young man uses the rail to maintain balance. The blood under his feet causes him to slip and nearly miss his step as he reaches the last step. There's no way I can push 47 flights of stairs like this! I'm leaving a trail everywhere. Everything hurts. My head keeps spinning. I'm tired. And there's no telling where that thing is! I need to do something. The young man pushes against the door near the number 47. It opens. He looks at the stairs once more.