My heart races as I fan my assault rifle in full auto moving quickly backward. What’s left of my squad are being torn apart and eaten. Fear overtakes me, as the long dagger-like teeth of these Reptilians strip the bones of Armstrong. Meyers is nothing more but a bloody torso now.
I quickly strap on the repelling harness and use the motorized hoist to zip my way up the jagged cliff. I continue firing as I reach the top. Tarver is right behind me. I can see him pulling himself over the edge of the cliff. We run into this maze of tunnels, we are completely disoriented. We can hear their hisses coming from almost every direction. They’re coming closer and closer! They’re everywhere!
We’re completely surrounded, that’s when Tarver grabs me and kisses me, then pulls a pin from a grenade and runs past me drawing the Reptilians away from me. They chase after him and quickly catch up with him, he looks back at me one final time as he is completely covered in Reptilians, then there is an explosion. Just a smoldering pile of dead are piled up where I last saw Tarver, he took many as he could with him. I loved him with all my heart. No he’s gone like the others!
Oh God, everyone has been torn to pieces, I’m the last one standing as they close in on me. I scream in anger as I fire my last rounds at them. My rifle suddenly clicks as I’m out of ammo! I start screaming in sheer terror, knowing I’m about to die a horrifying death! Large flapping wings sound over me as I turn around and go into a full all out run for my life! Running through twisting path ways I can hear them on my heels! It’s like almost as though they’re toying with me! Feeding off my fear, waiting to tear me to shreds like the others.
Suddenly a sharp pain runs through my shoulder, blood spurts from where my arm once was! My leg is yanked with tremendous force taking me to the ground. I try to regain my footing but realize there’s blood squirting from the ragged end of my pants! My foot and calf are gone! Agonizing pain rips through my entire body as they swarm over me digging their six-inch teeth into my flesh.
From the swirling darkness, a giant claw punctures my chest splattering blood across my face. My screams turn into only gurgles as I’m separated from my body. I can see them feeding on my body as everything begins to blur out!
The last thing I feel is sharp teeth biting down on my head, the pain is excruciating as I can hear my skull cracking, every neuron firing off sending agonizing pain through my entire body! I begin choking on the blood that gushes up my throat and out my mouth, my mind is reeling, my thoughts begin to scramble, not making any sense, thoughts popping in and out, then the darkness closes in.
My eyes spring open as I scream in terror, sweat running down my face, my chest heaving-heart racing. Beams of light fluctuate around my head. An electronic frequency tone goes off in one of my ears, then it slowly dissipates. My body is floating, where am I?
I’m hoping heaven, my eyes zip around my surroundings trying to determine my location. Bright balls of lights are everywhere. Something transparent is around me. I soon realize I’m in a strange high tech transparent bubble. Somehow I’m floating vertically in it, cables and wires are connected to me.
I then realize I’m not dead, or being chewed to bits by a giant winged demon. I begin feeling much calmer, my heart rate is coming down. Some handsome black man with a football player’s build seems to warp into existence in front of me.
Like some magician, he waves his hand and I somehow lower to the inner surface of the bubble.
“Are you okay Lieutenant Vickers?” He checks a biometric scan monitor attached to the bubble exterior. “Your readings are very high, but within project parameters.”
I can’t even groan at this point. I hear a vacuum sound and the bubble separates into two halves allowing several techs to quickly gain access to me, they unplug various censors and promptly help me out. I’m very groggy as they seat me on a nearby office chair. I look around this chamber I can see other people in similar bubbles, all outfitted in technical overalls with plugs sticking out all over them like me. Technicians begin to pull some of them from their respective bubbles too. These people look familiar, wait a minute, they’re my squad.
I rub my head, my voice sounding dry, “Wha- what’s going on?” Mr, Jackson bends forward with his hand on my shoulder, "You were in an alternate reality. “Your memory will soon return to you in a few hours. I’m Mr. Jackson, Lead Developer of the Reality Wave game project.”
“Reality Wave?” my voice cracking.
“Yes, you and your beta test team punched through an alternate reality using our patented quantum tunneling technology. The bubble is made from a special electromagnetic conduction material. Providing a full encircled particle collision. Your memory is then wiped from a specific point when you go in, perfectly blending one reality into another. We monitor your precise biological readings for accurate behavioral responses. Once there you create your own reality experience through collapsing wave function, or what we call it here, riding the reality wave.”
I look up at him angrily, “My God, you’re removing my memory? Screwing with my mind, aren’t you?”
“Don’t worry everything that’s wiped, comes back, I assure you.”
“How do I know what memories are missing, and may never get back?”
“You don’t. You have to trust me in what I’m telling you.”
“Do I have a choice?”
“I’m afraid not. Now we will put you under observation until we review all of your reality creation playback is reviewed.”
“Yeah, whatever. Where am I anyway?”
“You're at Cho Ming Game company.”
“Cho Ming, he's the boy genius who started this company. Like I said all of this will start to come back to you. We had to pull you out because of reality shift glitch.”
“A glitch?” looking at him totally confused.
“We still don’t know actually what happened yet, but you were killed in an alternate reality.”
“Yes, were uploading data from your chip now. We should be able to run diagnostics on it soon.”
"It’s embedded in your right hand. It also syncs up your vibration frequency with our reality timeline.
"What timeline is that?' I ask.
Suddenly Garcia’s bubble’s alarm goes off as technicians are disconnecting him, “We got a cardiac arrest!” the technician alerts the others as he checks Garcia’s biometric life screen. An emergency response team burst in with a gurney and quickly lay Garcia in it. His overalls are peeled from his torso. Shock paddles are placed on his chest and the medical tech screams “Clear!” Garcia’s body jumps from the shock. Sensors are hooked to him his heart is still flat lined.
Colonel Tarver emerges from one of the bubbles and he stands near the gurney concerned, his eyes glued to the monitor. They hit Garcia several times before giving up. Tarver is just staring at the flat line move across the monitor, what happened Ron? What the fuck happened!?"
Mr. Jackson steps near Tarver, “Did he die in the alternate reality?”
“We all did.”
Garcia’s eyes are wide open, Mr. Jackson closes them, “He had a history of battle fatigue, shell shock, what ever you want to call it, perhaps he died of fright.”
Tarver pounds his fist on the gurney “That man was afraid of nothing! He would of given up his life for anyone in his squad. Has this ever happened before?!”
“No, you and your team are the first to ever go into a totally immersed.”
This is your first casualty! Tarver motions to Garcia as he is wheeled away. Taylor is crying holding his hand, she was in love with him. His squad members following closely behind.
“Your man did not die for nothing, you’ve gained crucial tactical data. Everything was recorded so it can be studied.”
“They had us for lunch, we were systematically slaughtered, nothing human can deal with them.”
“That’s right Colonel, nothing human.” Mr. Jackson responds.
“What are saying Ron? Those robots you’re developing are too damn slow to counter the Reptilians.”
“You know me, I always have an ace up my sleeve.”
Only because I know you, one of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever come across. I’m game, what’s up you’re sleeve?
It will be all presented at the briefing today, complete with demonstrations.