Dr. Malcolm Ray shot a few more times in the air to scare them back to the farmhouse across the way. The heat of the weapon radiated in his hand, and with the part of his brain that is not infused with pure hatred for his four legged companions, making a mental note to recalibrate the radiation, he slid it back into the compartment on the outside of the wall, shooting it off to the rooms beneath.
“My vocabulary always runs short when pigs are involved,” he says to himself, turning towards the wires that are now contorted and twisted and covered in pig slop.
“Oh, the glamorous life we lead.”
His breath swirling, visible in the cold night air, the doctor glances up at the monitor to see if power has returned. There is a small flicker, and he held his breath. The green light faded to blue, and flashed the circular symbol for The Vetruvian Project - currently stalled from the cold and the pigs.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Malcolm shivered in his coat and turned up his collar as he walked back towards the electronic door signaling the entrance to the compound.
“Welcome to the Compound, Dr. Ray,” a soothing female voice was the reply as he glanced towards the retinal monitors.
Compound, he thought, passing through the doorway and slowly descending the stairs, How lovely. It’s quainter than that thought…where is everyone else? Oh right! I had to lead up the genetics, and now I’m stuck here at the satellite Compound. I’m surprised I didn’t find a bearskin rug when I was flown here. Although, I’m not against boarskin…
He pondered that comforting thought for a few seconds, disemboweling the pigs, eating the good and hanging the bad over the worktables as a trophy. What brought him out of his reverie was the simple fact at how freezing it still was in the room – the cold has seeped into the very walls. Turning to the monitor, he glanced at the internal temperature – 10 degrees colder than outside.
“Not really. Think about it,” came a voice behind him.
Whipping around with all the strength and agility of a man who has just been surprised and utilizing the full extent of the weekend self defense retreat his company sent him on, he was promptly hit with a sub zero temperature and knocked off balance by the sheer numbness and betrayal of his body.
“Your time here is at an end, good Doctor. I’m here to take you back to the Zig, and if you play nice, you may get to do it sleeping peacefully,” says the intruder, his blue and black suit humming slightly with an otherworldly aura.
Of course, Frozen was always at my heels, why should I think that this company would save me otherwise?
“What, no typical banter? Isn’t this where you can’t believe that I’ve found you? It was so pitifully easy, and the time for black and white, good and evil is over. I could kill you so easily right now, but why stop the bounty?”
“I see you have been working on your aim, Frozen. Especially when you pick on an old man who has no defense. Good work, I applaud the team of heroes who sent you.”
“They couldn’t do the hard work – you’ve had lethal force in the past, Doctor, and I’m not about to let you off --!”
The sound of his voice died out, as the familiar tinkle of breaking glass came from the corner. Both pairs of eyes stared as what resembled more a beast than a man came into the light.
“Frozen, you don’t know what you’ve done. That’s the project, the unstable project! How could you have done this? You have frozen the chamber enough for him to escape…and also have given me a brilliant distraction,” the doctor says with triumph as he pulls the radiation weapon from underneath the console, “Limited teleportation, just for this occasion. Good bye, Frozen.”
The gun goes off, and the next seconds are a blur. Frozen hits a button on his suit, and an ear splitting ring goes off, Malcolm immediately knows that he has signaled for backup, but he doesn’t care any more, the radiation has hit his enemy in the chest, and is slowly pushing him to the floor.
The beast watches as the familiar figure shoots and shoots the one encased until there is a sudden silence from the suit, followed by a deafening crack as it opens – and then the whole of the world seems to be cold, numb pain – worse than anything he ever felt inside the liquid container, so much that it brings water to his eyes. The familiar man is lying on the ground – the chopped memories of him surge to his mind – reading to him every night, keeping him healthy when he was sick, and torturing him with tests every day like clockwork. He does not know anything else in the world, his father and creator lying motionless at his feet; he picks up the weapon though the haze of pain and fires at the cold body across from him.
“Please,” moans the voice as it is pummeled with the weapon, “I’ll do anything…”
The beast has never used his voice before, and as he opens his mouth to reply, a strange thought surfaces: My first words will be his last.
“No!” he screams, and fires again and again, feeling the pain from the cold wash over him with every pulse of the weapon.
He glances down at his father to see simply a look of terror, not at him, he is perfection, but at the weapon in his hands, and he barely has time to look back up when a flash of green light grows and erupts, engulfing them all.
It is night when the heroes come to aid Frozen, but the compound is destroyed. Two bodies are found, and the snow and the countless pigs that have shown up to feast have since obliterated any tracks that may have come from the site.
And a mile away, the beast looks upon the wreckage that was once his home, a place of comfort and pain. The only place he knew. The Vetruvian Project.