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Chapter 15: "Spleen"
A Siberian island
The trip was exhausting. Dr. Richtofen could have simply teleported to Group 935's Siberian facility, but that would uncover the facade. Maxis still believed the MTD was merely a prototype only capable of teleporting a walnut. No matter. Soon, Dr. Maxis would feel his wrath.
Edward slogged through the piercing, cold snow to reach his laboratory. Two men guarded the door. The lab was in conflicted territory after all, but this frozen hell would not seem desirable to the naked, Soviet eye. Richtofen presented his key card to the guards and they opened his bullet-proof door. Locking the door, Dr. Richtofen donned his blood-stained labcoat. Time to check on the subjects.
The first door held test subject H19J, a German patient shipped from the Verruckt facility and leftover from the MPD experiments at Griffin Station. He did not move when Richtofen entered his cell. Richtofen tapped his side with his right foot while remaining a good distance away. Still no movement. Definitely dead.
The second door held test subject N3WB, a disgraced Japanese soldier sent to “The Doctor” for experimentation. He was very clearly awake and breathing, but did not respond to Dr. Richtofen's approach.
“Hello? What's your name again?”
The soldier did not bat an eyelid and continued staring at the floor.
“You're going to be difficult again. You know I forget your name every time!”
Edward searched a cabinet for his file to find the name.
“Yes. Takeo Masaki is the name! What have you been doing besides just sitting there doing absolutely nothing?”
Still blank-faced, Takeo blinked his eyes.
“Wow! Good for you. You learned to blink. We'll talk again later. Later than you'd think, but sooner than you'd hope. Goodbye!”
Edward left Takeo to sulk under lock and key. Next on the agenda.
Test subject DR4K. A Russian soldier left abandoned on the front lines by his government. Immediately upon opening the door Edward could smell the urine. He would have his assistants bathe the subject, because of the unbearable stench. Nikolai Belinski, as his profile stated, was found drunk, passed out near the Soviet front lines once the Germans pushed them back. They tried taking him as a prisoner of war, but the drunkard offered nothing in the ways of information on, well, anything really.
“Hello Nikolai, sorry about the harsh beating from my cohorts last week. You weren't responding after all, and they are not quite as patient as I. Luckily for you, you are in my compassionate, sterile hands.”
Similar to subject N3WB, DR4K responded to no stimuli, though it seemed more of a lack of ability to function rather than spite in the case of N3WB.
Dr. Richtofen searched his belongings for a syringe he had saved just for Nikolai. A combination of many medicines, but mostly Vodka. He jabbed the syringe in a comatose Nikolai's arm and pumped the mixture into his veins.
“Wakey wakey my Cossack friend. We have work to do today. When I come back you better be awake and ready for some form of surgery. I won't tell you what kind yet, it's a surprise!”
Nikolai's eyes opened and he belched and groaned for several minutes before he could stand on two legs. He did not have the slightest idea where he was or who that man talking to him was. Fortunately for Nikolai, the alcohol in the syringe was not enough to keep him standing for longer than 20 minutes. No surgery this time.
Last cell. Test subject HC4Z. Pablo Marinus. Originally from Mexico, Pablo managed to find himself captured by German soldiers in Northern France. Pablo was said to be doing some sort of scientific research with his own deposit of Element 115 deep underground. Perhaps the catacombs of Paris.
Pablo refused to speak of his research and burned his journal before he was captured. This was not important to Dr. Richtofen, however. As his other test subjects were either dead or playing dead, Pablo would be his lucky test subject of the day.
“Good afternoon Pablo...excuse me, subject HC4Z. We don't want to get to informal, now do we? We are not friends, you see. Our relationship is doctor and patient.”
“You monsters know not what you are doing.”
Pablo's lower body could not function following an experiment with a blood transfer. He was bound to a stretcher with his arms restrained. Dr. Richtofen pulled his bed towards the operating room and set up his supplies.
“HC4Z. Do you know what they call me?”
Pablo did not respond. He shut his eyes and began to mutter short verses, as if he were praying. They were not in German nor Spanish. Nothing Dr. Richtofen had heard before.
“If you found yourself in Nazi-controlled territory, which you did as I understand, you should have come across hearsay from people of the city and refugees of all walks of life. Being captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war was the good outcome.”
Dr. Richtofen strapped Pablo's head down to the table and raised his bone saw.
“The bad outcome? You get sent to The Butcher. 'Beware the Doc.'”
Pablo's heavy breathing turned into hyperventilating as the saw cut into his upper chest.
“I think you know who 'The Butcher' is.”
Pablo's screaming soon silenced as his throat filled with blood. The imperfect cuts at his chest were digging into his windpipe.
“We're almost done, my friend. I'm just removing your spleen, that's all.”
As Dr. Richtofen jabbed at the arteries and the spleen came loose, Pablo's eyes went blank and the screaming came to an end.
Edward snapped his fingers near Pablo's face.
“No! We were not done! Wake up!”
Edward tossed the severed spleen onto the floor.
Takeo Masaki shut his eyes.
“Deru Kui Wa Utareru.”