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  • Vendetta

    Wittenau Sanatorium (“Verrückt Facility”), Berlin, Germany

    Agent Peter McCain

    September 3rd, 1945


    For reasons Peter could not yet understand, Division 9 was keeping him alive. He had been confined to a cramped closet for the past two days, brought out only for questioning followed by beatings when he did not provide answers. Surely by now, he should have outlived his usefulness. Some part of Peter hoped that with Japan’s surrender, the United States may be forcing them to give him up. But another part of Peter told him these monsters would never allow him to leave this place.


    He could not force himself to sleep the past two nights due to a combination of the constant racket outside, his desire to escape, the horrid smell of his own filth, and strange noises heard throughout the night. When the day ended and everything was quiet, Peter swore he heard the sound of a little girl sobbing, and a man shouting to close the windows. In the dead of night he heard the sound of a lullaby being sung by a little girl. Though he was not superstitious, Peter felt an indescribable evil coming from the Asylum which shook him to his core.


    Several hours into the workday, Peter could hear the Division 9 scientists arguing with the Germans just outside the closet. After a moment of silence, light leaked in through the doorway. Peter’s body tensed up, knowing what would come next as he spotted Doctor Yoshimura.


    Kare O Tsukamu!” He instructed his assistants to lift Peter up by his arms. Peter saw no reason to fight back just yet. Group 935 scientists and orderlies of the asylum watched on as the battered American was dragged through the halls. A patient of the asylum bound by rope to a wheelchair passed a knowing glance to him as he was brought into the next room. Peter was tossed onto a dentist’s chair and immediately restrained at his wrists.


    Doctor Yoshimura smiled, his eyes those of someone who more than enjoys the suffering of others, but loves it. Craves it. He had orchestrated Peter’s torture the past few sessions, but today, Doctor Okitsu was seen in the corner of the room, observing with his depthless gaze. While Yoshimura’s intent was clear, Okitsu’s was far less so.


    A crowd of Division 9 staff had gathered in the room, awaiting Okitsu’s instructions. Doctor Okitsu paced over to the door leading out into the hallway, glancing from side to side, before shutting the door.


    Peter tested his restraints covertly, making sure not to draw any attention to his attempts. He noticed the strap around his right wrist was loose; Perhaps with time he could wiggle free from it. Time he may not have. He did nothing, waiting for the right opportunity.


    Okitsu turned a dial on a table-top radio, before turning his attention to Peter. Peter could hardly bear to look him in his dead eyes.


    “This morning, American, you received a transmission from your handler. Would you mind if I played this transmission for everyone to hear?”


    Peter glanced around at the crowd of scientists, all wearing the insignia of Division 9 and Unit 731 on their lab coats. They all seemed to be unaware of their purpose in the lab, just like Peter. He worked up the courage to respond, “Don’t have much of a choice, do I?”


    Doctor Yoshimura quickly grabbed a pair of forceps, pulled Peter’s jaws apart, and clamped the tool around one of his upper front teeth. “You are not as smart as you think you are, American… You will listen to Doctor Okitsu or I will do what is necessary to silence you… ”


    Okitsu shot Yoshimura a glance, one he seemed to know well, and his grip eased as he released Peter’s jaw. Peter did not want to provoke Doctor Yoshimura again.


    Okitsu played back a recording of a transmission from Cornelius Pernell, “We’ve received your transmission, Peter; Doctor Richtofen is making one hell of an offer. Command has agreed to meet his terms, and they should be corresponding with him shortly. We received word from another agent that he has returned to Siberia, despite your claim that he was in your custody at Verrückt. Please provide an update, or I’ll have to assume something has gone wrong at the Asylum. I understand that Group 935 is losing control of their subjects, but you need to remain there until further notice. With-” The radio began to play a screeching static, before returning to normal, “-now changed. I repeat: The mission has changed. The Asylum must be contained and its work preserved. We’ve managed to wrestle control of the Rising Sun Facility with help from the Japanese government, but the Asylum is currently a no-go. But if I don’t receive word from you soon, I’m authorizing an Op to contain the Asylum and get you out of there. I’m holding out hope for you, Peter.”


    The scientists were murmuring amongst themselves, clearly caught by surprise at hearing that the Rising Sun Facility had been lost. Yoshimura seemed the most disturbed, “Doctor Okitsu, if they’ve taken Shi No Numa… Surely they haven’t found… Dorangen-”


    Okitsu barked, “Quiet, you fool!” Yoshimura acquiesced.


    A scientist from the larger group asked aloud, “What is this deal they speak of? What has Doctor Richtofen done?!”


    Another spoke up, “Group 935 wishes to destroy us by aligning themselves with our enemy!”


    Okitsu raised his hand to silence them, “We are in a precarious position, gentlemen. Even our ‘beloved Emperor’ has betrayed us. Even as our enemies grow in number and strength, we will prevail. We must preserve our work and our lives. Gather what you can without arousing suspicion from the Germans or the orderlies. We are leaving the Asylum for The Fortress.” As instructed, the scientists shuffled out of the room, dispersing through the halls, leaving only Okitsu, Yoshimura, and Peter.


    Okitsu leaned over Peter, “Well done, American. You’ve destroyed the Germans’ resolve. They’ve given up. But I have no intention of surrendering.”


    Okitsu paced towards the door, leaving Yoshimura with a final instruction, “Enjoy yourself, Doctor… then clean up what is left.”


    “Yes… Doctor.” Yoshimura peered into Peter’s frightened eyes, searching for his deepest fears. 


    As the door closed, Yoshimura was quick to remove a set of dentists’ tools from a box on the nearby cart, setting them on the cart an equal distance apart like a child laying out his favorite toys. His hand hovered over each one, and he would glance at Peter’s reaction each time, as if searching for just the right tool.


    “Do you want to know something interesting about your teeth, American?”


    Peter had a feeling Yoshimura did not want a response.


    He continued, “They are very similar to your bones. Just as strong, and just as permanent. After death, our bodies decay, but what is left? Your bones and your teeth.”


    Peter began to wiggle his right hand through the restraint while the Doctor looked away. He kept at it until it was free, then rested it at his side.


    “When your body is cremated, it can no longer be identified as you. It is only ash. Except, in some cases… your teeth still remain. The only remnant of you that is left.”


    Yoshimura placed a large spool of wire onto the cart, pulling some of the wire and attaching it to Peter’s chest, adhering it to his bare skin with a bandage.


    “First, American, you will forget who you are. You will look in the mirror, and see a stranger. You will be so stupid, you cannot speak. There will be nothing left of you inside your mind.”


    Yoshimura turned on the overhead light above the chair, and raised Peter up so they were now eye-to-eye. He pulled out more cord, long enough to reach the power box fixed to the wall. He turned away, approaching the box and attaching the other end of the coil.


    While he was turned away, Peter quickly reached over, grabbed the thickest, sharpest tool he could, and returned his arm to his side.


    “I will remove each tooth, one by one. I will bury them, toss them in the river, feed them to the subjects, it does not matter. They will be gone. Then you will burn, and there will be nothing left of you.”


    Yoshimura approached closer as Peter’s heart raced. He gripped the tool tightly, ready for the moment to attack.


    There was a sudden shockwave that shook the building, flickering the overhead lamp. Outside the window, Peter could see Russian bombers flying overhead, now turning for another run.


    Roshia No Buta…


    Outside the room was a clamor of shouting and running, followed by screams of pain and repeated gunshots. Then there was the clear howling and shrieking of the Untoten.


    Peter and Yoshimura both stared at the door, stunned. Then there was the banging of fists wood, which grew louder and louder. Yoshimura eked backwards, terrified, but closer and closer to the chair.


    Now close enough, Peter swung his free hand in an arc, jamming the tool into Yoshimura’s eye. The Doctor jolted back in pain, slamming his head into the wall, spraying blood on Peter as his head swiveled. He was still conscious, bellowing in agony and terror. Peter promptly reached for the other leather strap, loosening it. He leapt off the chair, taking cover behind it.


    The door toppled over with a bang, and a single Untoten stood in the doorway. It let out a shriek before pouncing onto the screaming Doctor. Peter wasted no time in leaving the room as more broke through the exterior windows of the Asylum.


    In the crematorium, Peter watched as a duo of German soldiers gunned down a horde of Untoten, before turning their attention on a panicked Division 9 scientist traversing the halls. With no hesitation they gunned him down and left through a set of double doors. Peter followed behind, being sure he had not been seen by any living or damned.


    They passed by the same set of laboratories blown up the day Peter arrived, gunning down another Division 9 scientist and two living Asylum patients, one of which being the poor chair-bound patient he had seen before. Over a handheld radio, their German commanding officer called for them, and they walked out into the central courtyard. The hallway now clear, Peter sprinted through, stopping in the cramped room he had held Doctor Richtofen in. Just as they had left it, in the corner of the room was his single-shot FP-45 pistol. In such a target-rich environment, his one shot would need to count.


    He glanced side to side, pushing his fears deep inside, and ran up the stairs to his left, before ascending another set of stairs and arriving at the second floor. He could see through the windows overlooking the courtyard and towards the other side of the Asylum that the chaos was focused at the other side, with soldiers, scientists, orderlies, patients, and undead caught in a horrific struggle to survive.


    Peter passed through the tiny patients’ quarters, where a Speed Cola Perk-a-Cola machine was standing. He turned left into the kitchen, where a hanging pig carcass was in the middle of being cut. Out onto the walkway, and into the power room, Peter now knew the offices containing the Asylum’s research were just below. 


    He descended a small staircase, peering around the corner into the office and storage area, finding it to be deadly silent. His pistol raised, he entered, searching a nearby desk with the nameplate ‘Luther Lenné, PhD.’ On it was an inventory sheet of everything contained in the storage containers.


    Peter located his belongings which arrived on the military convoy at his arrival. He had his Marine uniform, a map of Germany, a compass, and other tools to help him navigate his way out of here. He then searched the filing cabinets for the crucial research he needed: Reanimation, cloning, and weapons. He shoved them all into the bag, brandishing his weapon when he heard another explosion and more screaming from outside. Verrückt would soon be lost.


    Before he left, something stopped Peter: A gut feeling telling him to leave behind the research to burn with this place. No good can come of this, even in American hands. They would make a deal with Edward Richtofen, a mad man. They haven’t seen firsthand what he is capable of. Is this what Peter has put his life on the line for? To bring his worst enemy into his own home?


    The mission must continue, no matter what. Peter grabbed a handheld radio, tuning it to a frequency to pick up OSS transmissions, and placed it in the bag. He ascended the stairs into the power room, finding another moral dilemma. 


    Through a window to the right of the power switch, Peter could see an entire group of Asylum patients cowering, defenseless on the catwalk. They were trapped by undead ascending a set of stairs from the courtyard, and the doorways leading back to the Asylum blocked by a wall of electricity emanating from the Electro-shock Defense System. They faced death either at the grip of cannibalistic monsters, or 200k amps of electricity.


    Peter did what he had to do. He reached for the power switch with his left hand, pulling it into the off position, deactivating the system.


    Peter then felt a rushing heatwave pass in front of his body as a green beam of light pierced through his elbow, and he detached from the now severed arm which was still tightly gripping the switch handle.


    The pain was delayed, but Peter was quick to assess the source of the attack: Doctor Okitsu stood near the open doorway, a small, silver device in his hand of a similar design to the Ray Gun series. Peter was swift in firing his FP-45 from the hip, firing his single shot into the right side of Okitsu’s head, sending him limply to the ground.


    As the intense pain of his missing limb finally materialized, Peter fell to the floor in agony, muffling a scream as to not draw further attention his way. He rolled onto his back, peering at the wound at his elbow. It had been cauterized by the weapon’s ray, preventing much blood loss, but the pain was nearly unbearable. Peter took a knife and cut a portion from his belt, tying it around the end of the stump. He lied there for a moment, but kept himself from falling out of consciousness as he remembered the mission.


    He rose to his feet one leg at a time, and hobbled over to Okitsu’s still body. He pulled the experimental weapon from his hands, and hobbled over to a doorway leading outside.


    Peter descended a set of stairs, peering around the corner towards a fountain and a lone German military truck. The chaos was still ongoing inside the building, so Peter was quick to seize the opportunity. The Russian bomber planes whizzed overhead once again, destroying a section of the Asylum as Peter dove into the tarp-covered truck bed. Peter crawled along the bed towards the cabin, peering inside.


    Before him was the mangled corpse of a German officer in the driver’s seat, and a zombie leaning over, gnawing on his neck from the passenger’s seat. Peter fell backwards in shock as the zombie caught him snooping, and it crawled its way through the port, into the truck bed. Peter was quick to blast it in the chest and head with three pulls of the trigger. The hot plasma pierced the tarp above, and the Untoten toppled to Peter’s side.


    Peter almost wanted to take a nap, but there was still work to be done.


    He crawled into the cabin, digging through the officer’s pockets to find the truck keys. He then opened the door and shoved the corpse out onto the dirt floor. 


    “Sorry, buddy. I need it more than you do.”


    Peter ignited the engine, and slammed on the gas, passing by several soldiers running for their lives from the courtyard, trying to flag down the truck. Peter maintained his speed, slamming into the iron gates of the Asylum adorned with the numbers 9-3-5. He followed the dirt path, passing by empty German tanks and burning homes, before driving the truck deep into the trees, as far away from the Asylum as possible. He was alive, but for how much longer?

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