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Chapter 6: "Departure"
After October 1945
Rising Sun Facility - Main Building, Upper Floor
Thirty minutes, roughly, had passed since the onslaught of the undead had ended. Dempsey stood at the railing gazing at the mound of flesh half-submerged in water below them, while Takeo rested his eyes, sat against the wall. Dempsey was about at his last nerve when Richtofen finally arrived. Takeo woke up as the grinning Edward Richtofen trotted his way up the staircase. His face seemed to be stuck in a state of permanent ecstasy. Before Dempsey could berate him, Richtofen sat down next to a confused Takeo, wrapping his arm around him and letting out a sigh of relaxation.
“This has been the absolute best day of this doctor's life. Those screams of the damned as they burned were so...invigorating. What a beautiful sight! I only wish I had my camera...”
Dempsey had no response. The doctor's disturbing love of all things internal had him speechless. After a moment of silence, Richtofen's face of pure, unadulterated happiness changed to concern. His voice then turned accusatory.
“Where is Nikolai? Did you not make sure he was following you? You know he is known to wander!”
“Easy there, you freak, he's probably just sleeping drunk in some ferns. We'll find him.”
“You'd better hope so, Dempsey. I value that Russian's life more than your own.”
“Then let's go find your little spoon. Takeo, take lead, I gotta make sure Richtofen doesn't start eating our entrails.”
“Oh please, Dempsey, entrails are the worst tasting part of the human body, by far. I have standards, you know.”
“I can't tell if that was some form of comedy or a true statement. I don't want to know either way.”
Richtofen ignored the banter to address his more prominent concern.
“Where did you last see Nikolai?”
“I know he was with us when we ran into the building, after we got to the Doctor's Quarters I noticed he was missing. Takeo, did you see him run off?”
“He stopped following us as we passed by the main entryway. He may have tried to run away, unsurprisingly.”
“He may be taking refuge in the fishing hut by the water then. Let's find him, we must leave that way to get to the MTD anyway.”
“Matter Transference Device. Teleporter. Big thingy that takes us to a different place.”
“Fuck off Richtofen. And where exactly are we going?”
“I have to stop by my old workplace to tie up some loose ends, and then we leave for Griffin Station!”
“Uh huh, and where is that?”
“I need not clog your mind with precise locations, Dempsey. There's only so much room up there.”
“You may have me beat on brains, Richtofen, but I can still kick your ass.”
“Using violence as the answer as always, Dempsey.”
“Oh like you're some pacifist. I saw how much you loved killing back there...it's fucking weird.”
“To each his own, I suppose.”
The three armed men approached the fishing hut, Takeo creaking open the door, to reveal a passed out Nikolai in front of a new Perk-a-Cola machine, Juggernog Soda. Dempsey approached the Russian, kicking his arm to wake him up.
“Hey! Nikolai! What does the drink do?”
Nikolai opened one eye and mumbled something incomprehensible, and raised his index finger to point at something in the corner. It was the corpse of a zombie, without its head. The head was about six feet across the room, the face caved in with skull fractures all around. The others soon realized Nikolai had matching blood and fractures on his own hand. Richtofen knelt down to examine Nikolai's fist while Dempsey clamored to buy a bottle for himself.
Nikolai's knuckles lacked any bruises despite the sheer amount of force required to knock a head clean off a zombie. The Juggernog Soda had given his body a hearty resilience. A drink such as this would put those in the medical profession out of the job. Incredible.
Dempsey actually quite enjoyed the taste of this soda. Quite similar to eggnog with a sweet hint he had not tasted in quite some time. The jingle from the machine reminded him of home. He finished what was left in the red bottle before tossing it aside.
“Alright then Richtofen, let's find your MDT.”
“M...you know what, fine, let's go.”
“That's what I'm talking about. Come on Nikolai!”
With the strength imbued in Dempsey, he was able to lift Nikolai off the ground and over his shoulder. Richtofen led the way out of the swamp and into a hut which held his teleporter. This would be the last they see of this god-forsaken swamp of the dead. Richtofen entered the coordinates into the MTD's keypad and shut the door around them. The lights flickered and buzzed, then came a flash, then nothingness.