Chapter 2: "Mystery"
After October 1945
Rising Sun Facility - Main Building
“We're here. This is the place.”
The crew had come across a lone fishing hut extending off the facility, and followed the bridge across.
“Finally! I was getting tired of Takeo's rambling.”
“Shut up Nikolai, and get your gear on!”
“Alright, Dempsey. Hey, you want to trade guns? I'm pretty bored with these pistols.”
“You heard what I said, Nikolai, no trades!”
“So you will trade with Takeo, but not with me? Someone doesn't want a share of vodka!”
“Nope, I don't, not yet at least. The hopelessness hasn't set in for me yet like it has for you, you know your whole life.”
“Fuck off, Dempsey.”
Richtofen grew tired of the bickering. For blank slates with no memories, they sure had a deep-seeded grudge.
“Please, children, set aside you differences and open the damn door!”
Dempsey opened the wooden gate to the building. Parts of the walls were overgrown with plant life and fungus. Nests of insects had formed within every room, and the smell of swamp water and flesh hung permanently in the air. Four undead roamed around the center room.
“Ooh, this is good! We must be close to my safe. One of them has the key to-”
Dempsey ran up to the unsuspecting zombies and slammed the butt of the Type 100 into its head and put a whole magazine into the four bodies before they could respond.
“Dempsey! Save some for the rest of us! Why did you not wait for me, you could have destroyed the key!”
“I don't take orders from you, Doc.”
Richtofen crouched down to examine the corpses. He searched every pocket of their unrecognizable bodies. Finally he found the blood stained key within one's breast pocket.
“If this key had been destroyed I would have gutted you!”
“Damn, I would've liked to see you try.”
“No matter, upstairs I have everything we will need for the journey ahead.”
Richtofen eagerly walked up the stairs and rummaged through his safe. Immediately on entering, the sounds of flies buzzing could be heard, coming from the limp, dangling body near the center of the room. It was a soldier, dressed in green, much like Dempsey. Strung up by his neck and missing an arm at the elbow. Takeo and Dempsey approached it as Nikolai hounded Richtofen for his vodka.
“Do you know him, Dempsey?”
“Well, I don't think so. Come to think of it, who do I know? I know you. Richtofen. Nikolai...I...I have a kid I'm pretty sure.”
“I do not remember many others of time's past either. Richtofen seems to know the most of any of us what is going on. I fear he may be a manipulator.”
“I know he's an asshole, for sure. No way in hell do I trust him. I just...how did we get here?”
“What are your earliest memories?”
“Well, besides being a kid? I know I had a mission. A mission to find someone. After that I don't know much.”
“Be mindful of the future, American. We are not friends. But Richtofen certainly isn't either.”
“I can agree with you there.”
The two turned back to regroup with Nikolai and Richtofen, who were squabbling over a bag, labeled 'Nikolai's Vodka'.
“But why can't I have it, German!”
“Nikolai I don't trust you not to binge every bit of it I have brought! If you waste it all now you will find yourself dead!”
“Come on, I'm dying now!”
“You already drank a bottle. You are fine, I am sure of it. I'm a doctor.”
“A candy-ass doctor at that! Fuck you, Richtofen!”
“Watch your language with me, Nikolai. Come on, and I will give you more. Stop moping around.”
Richtofen lifted a large bag and swung it over his shoulder.
“What's in the bag, Doc? Nursing tools?”
“Our backup plan in case things get very bad very quickly. We are going to get to the teleporter, and go through with my plan, however there are some things here I must acquire before we may leave.”
The four continued to walk and talk down the stairs before happening upon a strange box in one of the downstairs rooms. It had two white question marks painted on the top, and a yellow light glowing bright.
“Alright, Doc, what's this shit now?”
“I actually do not know, unless...”
Richtofen approached the box and gently began to lift the top. With extreme force the top came completely open and the light within shone in Richtofen's face, and a Type 100 began to float out of the box, then suddenly the Type 100 changed into a revolver, then a machine gun, a flamethrower, and other weapons from all around the world, before finally settling on the MP40 sub-machine gun. It seemed to hover within the box, ready for Richtofen to take it. The weapon was fully loaded, pristine as if right out of the factory. Along with it were several magazines of ammunition.
“What...beauty! GIVE ME ANOTHER, BOX!”
Richtofen attempted to lift the box open again but it refused. What took little force before was impossible to open. Dempsey came and shoved Richtofen aside, lifting the box open and wringing his hands together in anticipation. The weapons cycled, some weapons appeared that Dempsey had never even seen on this Earth before. Finally the weapon that settled was an old favorite, the Thompson. An American treasure.
“I...I think I'm in love.”
The box cycled once more revealing to Nikolai the PPSh-41, the mainstay of any Soviet's arsenal.
“How did it know! How did it know!”
Takeo did not trust this magic box. Such rewards must only come with a cost. Yet, his curiosity took the best of him.
The weapons cycled once more, but instead of a weapon allowing itself to be taken by Takeo, a bloody teddy bear appeared in its place. A brooding giggle of a little girl emanated from the box, sending Takeo reeling back. The teddy bear began to spin, and the box lifted into the air before vanishing.
“That laugh! I know that laugh anywhere!”
Richtofen searched his belongings and began to ramble to himself in some sort of recording device as Takeo recovered from the shock. Nikolai could only smirk at Takeo's poor luck.
“Ooh, tough break Takeo.”
Dempsey handed Takeo the Type 100 which he had used in the battle prior.
“You want my old gun? It's better than nothing I guess.”
“I will wield the Emperor's weaponry with pride and dignity.”
Takeo left the group to consult Dr. Richtofen.
Still smirking, Nikolai spoke to Dempsey.
“Yeah, he's pissed. Ha ha ha!”
“Heh, yeah he is.”
“Entry 720404. We have discovered this strange box of...well...mystery. When opened it seemed to pull a variety of weapons through time and space before finally allowing one to be taken. When poor Takeo tried to get a weapon of his own, I heard Samantha's incessant giggling. She must have something to do with this. This weapon technology is exactly what I had been working with at Griffin Station, particularly quantum entanglement. How Samantha is able to utilize my work, and why she would give us these gifts is unknown. I will investigate this further once I return to Der Riese.”
Richtofen shut the recording off and turned to Takeo, who stood awaiting answers.
“Doctor Richtofen, what is the origin of that laugh you heard from the demon box? And why did it present these weapons to us?”
“Don't worry yourself about the girl, Takeo. She's not our problem yet. The box I am not so sure of. I have a feeling we will be seeing the box again, sometime soon.”
“Doctor, I could sense great evil within that box. These forces we are meddling with seek to blacken our souls.”
“For now, Takeo, we must make do with what we are given. Remember the deal, Takeo, you help me, I help you. Get those two moving. We must find what I came for.”
Takeo returned to Dempsey and Nikolai who were chatting about Richtofen.
“Listen, I'm just saying, we take him out, get the hell out of here, and go our separate ways. Why should we follow him around doing his dirty work?”
“Is good plan, Dempsey.”
“We can agree on that, Nikolai.”
Takeo knew their alliance must hold if they are going to return home.
“Not just yet, Dempsey. The time is not right.”
“What, Tak, aren't you the one who said don't trust him?”
“There is a blackened soul within that man. But he is our key to paving a way through this madness. Only he knows, truly, where we are going. We must follow him for the time being.”
Nikolai spat at Takeo's feet in disgust.
“I will certainly not follow a fascist, and I will especially not follow you, Takeo.”
Dempsey took what Takeo said to heart. His one hope of returning home to the life he had somehow forgotten was in The Doctor.
“Now hold on Nikolai, he's got a point. Do you even know how to get home from here? And do you even want to know what's waiting for you when you get home?”
Nikolai pondered the thought. There is no one to go home to in Russia. His government had sent him to die. His family had forgotten him or died long ago. There is no life for Nikolai now. Only vodka and death lay in the path ahead.
“You don't know me, Dempsey. None of you do. If we must, I will fight on. Not for anybody. But for me.”
“Alright then, Tak, what would Doc have us do?”
“We are leaving for the Communications Center. Richtofen has business to attend to there.”
“Alright, vague but fair enough.”