Chapter 4: "Fetch"
After October 1945
Rising Sun Facility - The Doctor's Quarters
“What do you make of these past events, Nikolai?”
“If you're trying to start conversation, Takeo, you are barking up wrong tree.”
“Must you not reconcile and meditate on your actions? Or is your alcohol affinity your way of coping?”
“Your big words do not impress me Takeo. I am a simple man. Vodka is fuel of common man.”
“I must agree, you are quite simple.”
“You're a walking fucking cliché Takeo.”
“At least I have my wits, my honor, my path. What do you await in your future?”
“More killing, more vodka. What more can Russian ask for?”
“I detest you, Nikolai, but I fear for you. A man without a path is not a man, but an animal.”
“Enough of your fucking metaphors! I do not take advice from the likes of you Takeo!”
“You may come to regret your lack of discipline when the time for battle comes.”
“A Russian does not regret. A Russian presses on, even when all hope is lost. Unlike you Japanese, who take your own lives, and for what?”
“For the glory of the Emperor.”
“Your emperor is a puppet, so what does that make you, Takeo?”
“You know nothing of the Emperor, drunk fool!”
Takeo reached for his katana, ready to strike at a moment's notice. Nikolai's eyes dared him to make a move, his weapon at the ready. Richtofen had taken notice of their feud, and pointed his weapon at Takeo.
“What are you doing, Takeo! Put the sword away, now!”
Nikolai had not moved his gaze away from Takeo's. His soulless, blank eyes and the smirk he held did not affect Takeo. Richtofen could not afford to lose one of his pawns, let alone two. Richtofen felt the warm metal end of Dempsey's gun pointed at his temple.
“I knew not to trust you, German. I'll enjoy watching you die.”
“Dempsey, this is a simple misunderstanding! Nikolai and Takeo were just having some personal problems they needed to work out, and-”
“I don't give a fuck about that. You pull that trigger on one of us and you die.”
The standoff continued for another minute, no one daring to make any sudden movements. They were all ankle-deep in swamp water, sweating from the tension and humidity. Takeo stayed fixated on Nikolai, planning his attack. A slash at his neck, one swift motion to end the bastard. Nikolai's eyes had grown shaky. He had gone a bit too long without another sip of vodka, but his will was strong, and he would pull the trigger should he even sense Takeo would make a move. Richtofen was most distraught. His plans must not fall apart from this simple rivalry. Not only would these two kill each other, but he will die at the hands of the American. Dempsey feared nothing. His broken arm was nothing compared to the pain he wished upon Richtofen.
Takeo shut his eyes, and breathed once more, preparing to make the first move. Before anyone could respond, a thick, gloomy fog overtook the air. Despite standing near each other, they could barely see their adversaries. Out of seemingly nowhere, the booming voice had returned from the box.
“Fetch me their souls!”
A bright flash of electricity formed in the distance, creating a booming sound, and two orange eyes could be seen through the fog. The pair of eyes then began to growl, not like a zombie, but like a dog. Soon after came two more booms and flashes, with two more sets of eyes following.
“Uh oh. Those don't sound like freakbags.”
The standoff had ended, and they were all back to back looking through the fog at their attackers. The first set of eyes charged at them at high speed, leaping through the air at Nikolai. It was a dog, flesh decayed and organs exposed. The dog was on fire, as if it had come from the gates of Hell itself.
Nikolai shot the flaming hound out of the air, causing it to explode into giblets. Another circled the group before charging once again and being gunned down. More and more of the hellhounds pounced and fell short of killing them. One last dog finally met its end, and the fog began to clear. What was left of the last dog sunk in the deep mud, and a strange, green glowing orb appeared above the body. Inside the orb was a floating, golden ammunition box.
“I know I say it a lot, but, what the fuck Richtofen?!”
“That dog, that voice...that damned girl...”
The others were too fixated on the orb to question Richtofen's words. The golden box inside seemed to spin as the orb floated there. After a few seconds, the orb began to flash, getting faster and faster.
Nikolai eyed the orb once more, and took a hardy drink of his vodka bottle.
“Eh, what the hell.”
He reached to grab the odd ammo box, and the orb disappeared. Once again, the booming voice bellowed a phrase.
Curiously, all the empty magazines of their weapons were refilled with bullets.
“More shit I do not understand, but damn do I love it!”
Dempsey and Nikolai was enthralled by this chain of events, but Takeo only had more questions.
“Richtofen, you must explain now why we are receiving these gifts.”
“I cannot explain exactly what is going on, Takeo. You ask these questions so much! Why can you not just accept what you are given and be happy about it?”
“I do not understand, doctor.”
“Of course you don't! No one does! Stop questioning that which you do not understand. I will find out what is going on, and fix it. So don't worry your little head about such things! Just enjoy yourself in the slaughter like the others!”
“I do not enjoy the slaughter, Richtofen.”
“Questioning things too much is one thing, Takeo, but lying is the last thing you want to do to me right now! We should trust each other, no? I have not lied to you, not even once!”
The rivalry before the onslaught had been forgotten. Takeo still did not truly believe Richtofen's words. Yet, Richtofen understood Takeo's inner turmoil. The slaughter of demons was enjoyable. Takeo could not fully understand the nature of his urges to kill, he could only suppress it when it mattered the most, when it would be dishonorable.
The shining, yellow beacon from before had originated from a hut referred to as the Doctor's Quarters. It was structured similar to the Communications Room of the facility, but slightly larger on the inside, and outside was a wooden platform attached to a zipline, connected to the upper floor of the central building of the facility. Richtofen pushed the wood doors open to reveal the inside of the hut. There were radios, bookshelves, and small tables with medical supplies. But as the door came open, a red and white machine began to float in the air near the back wall. Just like in the Comm Room, the machine cycled through with two other machines, a bright blue machine and an orange machine. Eventually it settled on the light blue soda machine. It was much shorter than the Speed Cola machine, with the slot on the top for collecting the bottle. In big lettering, the machine was labeled 'Quick Revive!'. Also written were 'Ice Cold' and 'Sold Here'. A stain of dried blood appeared on the front of the machine as well as a bloody hand print on the top. The glowing emblem depicted a man rising out of his grave.
Dempsey set his eyes on the Quick Revive machine. He pressed a button on the face with his still-functioning arm, and out of the top came a bright blue bottle.
He chugged the drink, expected a similar taste to Speed Cola, but this soda did not give Dempsey that same pleasure. Some of the drink had made it down his throat before his gag reflex sent out the rest and he tossed the bottle at the wall. The fishy taste was revolting to Dempsey.
Richtofen laughed at Dempsey's gagging and coughing. When Dempsey noticed his cackle, he took a swing at Richtofen's chest with his once broken arm, sending Richtofen reeling to the ground.
“Hey, it fixed my arm right up! Might want some of this stuff for those ribs, Richtofen.”
“Ja, I do.”
Richtofen clenched at his chest and gasped for air before taking a drink. The flavor was unbearable, but the drink had reinvigorated him. Minor cuts and bruises cleared up, leaving a short tingly feeling for Richtofen.
“Amazing, why did Group 935 scrap such a brilliant idea? Anyway, Dempsey, why don't you go stand over there, as far away from me as you can, while I do my work, Ja?”
Richtofen entered the doctor's quarters, a familiar locale during his stays in Manchuria. Where his desk once stood, there was now the magic box from before, and it was now emitting a faint yellow beam into the sky, which they had assumed to be an SOS signal. He began to reach for it before being startled by a voice coming from behind him.
“Hey, it's the box! Dempsey, Takeo, let's get more cool weapons!”
“Ach, I said stay outside, Nikolai!”
“You did? I don't remember. So, can I have the vodka now?”
“You want vodka, Nikolai, here, get it!”
Edward took a bottle from his bag, and rolled it out the door down the stairs, and Nikolai followed right behind, plowing through Dempsey.
Now that they were occupied, Richtofen began another audio log.
“Log Entry 73442. The magic box appears to have moved locations into my old work space, and we just had a chance encounter with Samantha's beloved Fluffy, or at least her puppies. Several dogs, most likely spawning in from the Aether, attacked us before being shot on sight. As the last dog died, we were rewarded with something new. A green orb which refilled the ammunition of all our weapons. After the encounter with the hounds, I was able to drink another one of Group 935's perk-a-cola concepts. Once again, it simply released a bottle of soda as I came near it after the battle. I believe these machines, the box, and these magic chalk drawings will only dispense these pleasantries after we have killed enough of the undead. Perhaps they accept Element 115 or ethereal energy as a form of currency. Or perhaps, someone is watching over us, rewarding us for what we do. I will have to consult the voices on that one, heh heh.”