Escaping The End Chapter Four
Table of Contents
The Gatekeeper raised his fist over-head. Mykala ducked for cover, barely evading the fist that crashed to the floor. He stomped after Mykala, knocking the laser source over and crushing desks beneath his feet. The Gatekeeper followed Mykala who quickly found himself trapped in a corner. He raised his foot up to stomp Mykala.
"Wait!" screamed Mykala.
Startled, the Gatekeeper, leaned down, his size diminishing dramatically until he was a mere head-length above him. The Gatekeeper eyed him with a pair of fiery purple eyes for several awkward seconds.
"Speak your piece, then you will die," The Gatekeeper said to Mykala.
"I don't understand, why kill me?" Mykala questioned.
"At the closing between our two worlds the High Council passed law concerning the opening of the gates. All who attempt to open one will be met with an untimely end," the Gatekeeper responded, his eyes burning into Mykala.
"Why not just destroy the gates?"
"I can only destroy a gate when I know of its vicinity. There are thirteen gates left scattered across Dimeiron. Each gate would need to be active so I can locate it, and break it. Now if we are done here, I have judgment to pass over you."
Mykala cried, "Wait! You would kill me for something I did not know? I was just trying to escape my dying world."
The Gatekeeper pondered for a moment, never breaking eye contact with Mykala, "Ignorance is no excuse Mykala. The reason, while valid, does not change the laws set by the High Council."
"What if I helped you?" Mykala persisted.
"Help me how?"
"What if I located the gates so you could destroy them? No one would be able to escape from here anymore."
"How will you succeed? Your technology to try lies in ruins on the floor. That was your best," the Gatekeeper argued.
"Am I the first to open the gates?" Mykala asked.
"You mean attempt? No, many have tried. However, you are the first have such a degree of success. No matter though; you failed."
"No, I did not fail!" Mykala raised his voice a little, "I wasn't even aware of what they were doing here. Their failure is not mine; I simply applied what they were apparently preparing to try. Give me a shot." Mykala then remembered his ability and said, "Besides, you cannot kill what you cannot catch."
Mykala disappeared before the Gatekeeper and appeared next to the gate, calling out, "I could even step through this now, and then you would fail."
A bewildered Gatekeeper turned and ran for Mykala. As he reached for him, he found Mykala now stood next to other pillar of the archway. Again he jumped for Mykala, but managed to only grab air.
"Please, I don't even have to open the gates. Just power them enough for you to see them. Then you destroy the gates," Mykala pleaded from behind the Gatekeeper.
As the Gatekeeper turned, his size flourished until his head nearly reaching the ceiling. His size caused his voice to boom as he spoke, "What do you gain?"
"Rapport," Mykala stated simply.
"Rapport? With myself? You are a strange person, Mykala. Very well."
The Gatekeeper grabbed the gate archways and twisted them. The archways cracked and broke, falling to the floor. The Gatekeeper broke the archway in sections, each one in such a way that the innards remained intact. Without a word a vortex opened before the Gatekeeper, revealing Paradise on the other side, and he stepped through it. The vortex sealed up in a snap, causing a small shockwave to emanate and Mykala stumbled backwards.
Mykala ran for one of the broken sections and peered into it. It was far more interesting than what was gleaned from the scans. There was not a single wire, but coils of swirling liquid gold. Glass bulbs glowed blue and arced with splashes of strange energy that fed into the coils. Parts appeared almost like a foreign reactor, with hovering and rotating parts. It was but a small section of the archway and Mykala knew he could spend a lifetime just advancing technology from just this one piece. Yet he had little time to investigate beyond trying to find a portable way to power the other gateways.
Mykala plopped into a chair near a working computer. He was exasperated. Trying to wrap his mind around the project the science lab was embarking on, the awesome sight of the Gatekeeper, a real live being from the realm of his makers, and now the gateway. Amidst all of it he nearly forgot about Iy'Rene. He had not truly grieved her yet, keeping his emotions bottled. He pulled her picture from his pocket and stared into her beautiful eyes. Iy'Rene had been his lab partner before their marriage. They worked together on many projects, both at work and home.
"You would have loved being here today," Mykala said, pocketing the picture.
A single tear escaped down his cheek. Mykala caught it with a swipe of his hand. No time for that, Mykala thought as he focused on the data streaming the screen. He grabbed a nearby glass tablet.
"Notepad," Mykala called out and the glass appeared as a notepad with lines and a holographic writing utensil above the pad.
Mykala grabbed the holographic pen and began scribbling furiously. He wrote notes pertaining to the data, and even found some errors in the code that he was recording. With a swipe of his hand a new page would appear as he dashed out complex math equations. The data was a stream of old recordings, and once it hit the end a red error message popped up. Mykala leaned back in the chair and looked over his pages of notes and math. He was not quite sure he understood it fully, but he had enough to go on. Mykala was searching for tools when he heard a knocking at the door.
He assumed it was probably Alex and the rest but, not wanting to risk opening to something dangerous, he used transient and formed in the hall before the door. The hall was dimly lit and made up of carved rock and a polished floor. Despite the lack of lighting, he could see Alex with Gizmo, and the beautiful young woman standing behind them. Alex pounded on the door some more and called out for Mykala. Turning to Gizmo he said, "He's gotta be in there. It's the only place we haven't checked."
"Or, I could be standing behind," Mykala said.
The three turned slowly, and Alex jumped at the sight of Mykala, "We were looking for you!"
"Sorry Alex, I was caught up in what I was doing." Mykala turned toward the woman and said, "Hello, we haven't met yet. I am Mykala."
She smiled and said, "Yes, Alex has told me about you. I am Nima."
"So," Alex started, "Any luck with the gate-thing?"
Mykala frowned and opened the door to the large facility. Alex, seeing all the fancy equipment, headed in that direction but stopped at the rubble of the gate. Nima stood at the doorway nervously while Gizmo ran from station to station, plugging away at ports. Mykala walked up to Alex and placed a hand on his shoulder. He shared his experience with Alex and told him about all that he had learned.
"Wow. The Gatekeeper? I used to hear stories of him when I was a kid. No one ever thought he was real though."
"Well, he is, and now we have a task. A task I'm hoping that might help us in the long run," Mykala replied.
"Right. Where is the next Gateway?" Alex asked.
"The next Gateway is in the city square of Jesoph, about four hundred miles away. Other than that one, I only know of two other locations."
Nodding, Alex walked over to Nima who was staring at the broken gateway. He put his arms around her, talking in a low tone.
Mykala walked over to one of the computers to continue running the data stream. He found it hard to focus. His mind kept drifting off to Iy'Rene. Pulling out her diary, he flipped through it. He had never read her diary before, and was somewhat hesitant to do so. He flipped through it to the last entry and he read silently to himself.
Mykala continues to behave strangely when he sleeps. He keeps mumbling and looking like he is in distress, and I can't seem to wake him. I know it's likely a part of his blacking out that he's experienced a few times now. Of course, Mykala being himself refuses to seek medical treatment. On a lighter note, I know he is planning something for me in the coming days. At least, he better be, it is our anniversary after all.
Mykala smiled to himself, but wondering about the restlessness she had described. Closing the diary, he reached for the video recorder, ready to watch the last recording. One of the computers started dinging and he went to investigate, putting aside the recorder. The computer was running code like normal, but an alert had popped up in a corner. Mykala clicked on the alert popup. Nothing came up. He furrowed his brows and clicked again, but nothing changed. Apparently, whatever the alert indicated was meant for someone who would know what it meant. Mykala glanced at the broken gateway, still fascinated with learning more about it. But he felt driven to see if the facility had anything on the devastation of Dimeiron and the cause of crazies.
He called out to Alex and Gizmo, and asked if they wanted to come. Alex glanced over at Nima, who did not seem ready to go on another journey. Alex declined and Mykala, with Gizmo, headed out the door.
"What are you hoping to find?" Gizmo questioned once the door closed behind them.
"I am not hopeful, Gizmo. This is one of Dimeiron's largest and best equipped science facilities in the world. They must have something." Mykala continued, "You were found at this facility, right?"
"What was you doing before?" Mykala asked.
"Yeah, before Alex found you," Mykala expounded.
"I was wondering the halls of the facility, trying to find someone. There was no one here. Before that I tended to test subjects. Before th-" Gizmo was interrupted.
"Test subjects?" Mykala queried.
"Yes. The lab had two of, what Alex might call, crazies."
"Show me," Mykala demanded.
Beeping, Gizmo took the lead. Through several dimly lit and gray corridors and past multiple rooms they traveled to a part Mykala had not been to. As they stepped into a room the lights came on. Chairs were pushed back away from opaque-black and angled wall-desks. Light reflected off smooth glass tiles. All of the desks faced a large black screen. Mykala was familiar with the desks, all being holographic control boards.
"Seems like everyone was trying to get out of here in a hurry," Mykala noted.
Mykala sat down at a chair and placed his hands on the boards. They lit up with blues and yellows and projected a field over the desk. The field quickly morphed into controls, dials, and read out screens. The large black screen also turned on, remaining void for several seconds. Then a light flickered at one end of the room. Shortly after lights began to flicker on, one after another unveiling a sight that caused Mykala to turn away.
"I thought you said there were only two test subjects?" Mykala asked Gizmo.
"Yes, that is right.”
"What is that?" Mykala pointed at the screen.
"I do not know."
Mykala glanced back at the screen, through half closed eyes. He did not want to look, but could not stop himself. A red sludge clogged a drain at the middle of the floor, and dried blood covered the walls in smears and sprays. In some places, the blood was thick and caked on in chunks. Pieces of body parts laid strewn about and decapitated skulls hung by cords from the ceiling. On a bed was the remains of a body, with straps still there. Much of the torso and legs were gone with arms torn from the shoulders. Mykala was thankful that the bodies had decayed almost to their bones. But it made it only slightly less gruesome. Mykala tried to blink, but his eyes would not close. He tried to pull away, even as his stomach wrenched hard, but he could not. Gizmo tapped on Mykala's leg, breaking him from the screen. Glancing at Gizmo, Mykala wiped the tears from his eyes and calmed himself.
"Alright, alright. Just breathe . . .we need to look at the recordings," Mykala said.
Mykala entered a few commands and the screen changed to one of the first entries. A scientist came on screen, introducing himself, his colleagues, and explaining what they were researching. It was fairly standard to do before embarking on any project. Mykala fast forwarded past the introduction and the administering of medicines to the two crazies lying on beds. The room was a clash of white and grays. Standard lighting shone from the ceiling; the walls and floor put off a soft glow, evenly lighting an otherwise bare room. Beside each bed was a medical machine that scanned vitals and brain functions. From what Mykala could see, they both appeared to have ordinary vitals. Three nurses in white lab coats awaited directions from the doctor.
One of the crazies, awakened by a nurse, appeared normal, asking, "Where am I?"
A voice came over a loudspeaker, "I am Doctor Shyl, and you are here because of complications with your well being."
"Is this a hospital?"
"No, this is a science facility. Tell us, what is the last thing you remember?" Doctor Shyl asked.
The person looked scared, his body strapped to a bed. He replied, "I was uh, umm. I am having trouble remembering. . .I was coming home from work. I think."
"Very good. I know you probably have a lot of questions; we will do our best to answer them in time. For now, it is important that you try to focus on our questions. Do you understand?"
The person nodded in response.
"Good. How are you feeling?"
"What?" he asked.
"How are you feeling?" Doctor Shyl asked again.
"I don't understand. You sound strange to me." The person whipped his head to one side and, strained a bit, and asked, "What? Who is. . .No. No!" The man whipped his head to the other side, cracking his neck and began yelling, "Why does my head hurt? My head- what am I seeing? I don't want to see those things! Please stop!"
As the man continued thrashing his head back and forth, his screams turned distorted and he began laughing. Emergency beeps could be heard from equipment in the room and Doctor Shyl gave an order to sedate him. The nurses hit a button on a panel immediately putting the person to sleep.
The screen blackened for a minute then Dr. Shyl came on the screen talking. He appeared worn, and his eyes carried a bit of madness behind them. His long hair was unkempt, and his lab coat was stained with food and drink.
"I am Dr. Shyl. We have not recorded for days because there has not been any break through in our research. We have not been able to bring the subject back from his state of madness since the last recording. He speaks in distorted voices that we rarely understand. Sometimes it sounds as if there is more than one voice coming from him." The doctor laughed a little, then went on, "Sorry. I have not been able to sleep, and cannot focus. There have also been some complications; I'm not quite sure how to describe them. Though it seems unlikely that we will yield anything worthwhile in time to save our dying world, I will try to update when I can."
The doctor hit a button and the recording reflected the room. The other person strapped to the table had been ripped into, much of his innards exposed. But he was still breathing heavily and giggled every once in a while. The other crazy had broken from the bed and was working something into his face.
"Hey!" The doctor yelled into the room, then giggled, "What are you doing?"
The crazy turned, his cheeks had been surgically removed revealing filed teeth. He was in the middle of working a needle and thread through skin beneath his eye and lower jawbone. With great agility he leapt unto the empty bed.
He spoke, his voice distorted and despite his open mouth the words were clear, "Giving you nightmares."
The recording switched back to the doctor, clearly distressed, but displaying an odd smile, "It's true. While the crazies are killing by the millions outside the facility, these inside attack us psychologically. I cannot sleep because of the nightmares. It is more than the mental images we are faced with every time we turn on the screen; it's as if he is reaching into our minds when we sleep." The doctor took a deep breath and continued, "This will be the last recording. We have not had a nurse in the room for several days now, our medical droid was sent in and forced to hide in a fireproof box. We would scorch the room, but none of us seem able to go through with it. We all agreed that we are simply too fascinated."
The recording went black for a second. A crazy suddenly appeared, making Mykala jump. Having finished his sewing job with razor sharp teeth, he appeared to be trying to smile directly into the camera. His face was long and streaked with stained blood. His eyes were wide and bugging out from his sunken sockets and in his distorted voice he repeatedly said a single word, 'come'.
Written by J. L. Tracey
Edited by Joyce T
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About the Author
Born in 1986, J.L. Tracey was given to a loving family, and brought up by good parents. It was at a young age that J.L. Tracey began to study and learn about Jesus and eventually give his life to his Lord and Savior. Though gaining a desire for writing in his early years, J.L. Tracey’s passion did not blossom until his adulthood; with the aid of his wife and support from his family. Before writing more full time, J.L. went on taking various jobs and gained valuable skills and a strong work ethic. Eventually his career choice settled on Computer Engineering and he started off by going to technical school ATI in Florida. There he learned a wide variety of skills pertinent to the today’s rapid growth in technology. While attending ATI, J.L. Tracey was married to a beautiful young lady, who would become his best friend. Through the next few years they started a family with two wonderful little girls and the story of Last Hero slowly unfolded and evolved. After the unfortunate passing of his mother to stage four lung cancer, J.L. Tracey and his wife moved to Michigan to continue to raise their children and grow in the Lord as a family. After just a year, J.L. Tracey’s life was further changed by an accident that led to back surgery and kept him from doing many physical activities for the next couple of years. However, what was at first a tragedy became a blessing; affording him time to work on his book and spend time with his family. As of this writing, J.L. Tracey and is wife are the proud parents of five beautiful children, has a second edition of his book “Last Hero” out, is working toward the goal of competing in the Iceman Challenge, is working on the second book in the Last Hero series and online series Escaping the End.