The Vault. • By Craig Morgan. Reader discretion is advised. The Vault is the story of Xander Bynes; a man about to discover that there is more to his life than he ever bargained for. (For a heightened experience, view in a darkened room.) Begin.
It was dark… Xander’s head throbbed with pain. Not, not total darkness. No. There were shadows Xander mused. He couldn’t remember how he got here, wherever here was. There was a damp, mildewy odour around the room, and something else. A slimy, shuffling, scraping noise filled the air. Shadows, and a window… A window that led only to a wall. A wall with a dim light attached. Wait… Run!
The sounds grow louder; scratching, scraping, shuffling. The damp stench slowly subsided, making way for a new odour; That of stale blood and rotting meat… Run. Now! Wait…
‘What was that?’ Xander thought. His head began to pound more. The scraping had stopped, fading away. That image still lingered in his mind. That shadow… Worried, Xander pressed on.
Progressing along the corridor, Xander’s head throbbed and buzzed once more. There! The shadow from before. It turned and ran, mocking Xander with a laugh. Follow.
The room off the corridor looked like some kind of laboratory. Some of the equipment still sparked with electricity. With a sense of unease, Xander decided to investigate. Tanks. Go back. Desk.
Xander’s mind could barely register the horror before him. The last thing he saw was his own blood, welling on the floor as his screams rang through both the room and his mind… A beast. A creature. A thing of nightmares! Before Xander could even move, the creature seized him and began rending the flesh from his bones. It was too late. Slowly, Xander’s world went black…
The End. With Xander dead, knowledge of The Vault died with him. What secrets did it contain? What dangers waited to be unleashed? The world will never know... Restart?
The desk is cluttered with old documents, Some of which have decayed and crumble at Xander’s touch. One, however, catches his eye; One entitled: “Project Vault.” Read. Tanks. Return to corridor.
The tanks grew with a sickly green glow. Three were empty… Gasping for breath. Xander reached for a tank to help himself stand. Xander dropped to his knees as his head flooded with agony… Once his head had cleared, he looked at the labelling plaque. It read: “Project Gamma 2-7. Batch X – Sample A.” Resisting the urge to vomit, Xander hurried to his feet and ran! He ran!
Project “Vault” Progress Report Dr. D. Slattery. Day 18: - Specimens are progressing well, particularly two from the latest batch, X. Specimens Alpha and Beta from this batch have displayed signs of connection – more so than any previous batch. These specimens (X-A & X-B) show signifiers of limited telepathic linking which has allowed them to develop a bond beyond that of other specimens. Day 20: - Specimens X-A and X-B are starting to show signs of mental decay. It is unclear how this will develop. Observation will continue as project progresses. Day 25: - X-A has shown irrational emotional instabilities, leading to violent outbursts. Isolation has been implemented. I hope that this will not lead to another mistake like C-Batch Delta. Day 27: - X-B has shown fascinating side effects as a result of the separation from X-A. He has developed an introverted persona, ignoring attempts to communicate with him by myself and other staff. Will continue to observe. X-A’s mental state continues to deteriorate, to the point where she has begun to scratch and bite away at her own flesh. Thankfully, there has been no sign of mutation as with C-Batch Delta. Day 29: - This will be my final report on the X-Batch. Project Vault is to be locked away. I know not what the future holds for me and my team, but after all that we have seen here, I can only imagine the traumas and terrors that will haunt them, nay us mentally. X-A escaped her cell. She was a bloody mess. As with C-Batch Delta, her violent tendencies grew too much to contain. She attacked and injured several guards, even killing one before she was subdued and eliminated by rapid response security units. There remained no manifest signs of physical mutation though, only the lingering self mutilation. This shows that the creation process has become more coherent with the DNA structures. - Fascinatingly, upon the termination of X-A, X-B fell into a catatonic state of immobility. The higher ups have deemed that he be left here once the Vault has been sealed, hidden away with the rest of the failures. Who were we to play God? Back.
“Xander? Xander!” The corridor led to a chamber. A girl’s voice… Xander paused to catch his breath. His mind raced. “I’m scared Xander. Come find me!” Snatches of images flashed in his head; Images of doctors, of soldiers; Images of a girl… A voice so familiar, yet so… Distant. Follow the voice. Xander wanted answers. Perhaps this voice could help.
The corridor ended in a T-Junction. Xander noticed an opening, boarded up in the wall. “I can feel you Xander.” That voice again, inside Xander’s head. It hurt to listen to, but he could not silence it! “Xander. Brother! Help me!” “He’s coming brother. Help me! I need you!” The voice echoed within his skull. Xander cried out in pain, but still the voice yelled. Go left. Go right.
The room was dark. There was a lamp, but it was not lit. A girl stood and stared at Xander. Her eyes were white and her mouth was stapled shut. The voice came in his mind again “Brother, you found me!” “I’m so glad you found me, Brother.” She smirked, the skin of her lips stretched and ripped. Blood trickled down her chin. “You’re my way out, Brother...”
The room was filled and obscured with steam. A man stepped through the mist. “Beta!” “Beta?” “Beta, you’re awake!” That word. Xander’s head rushed once more. “Who are you?” Xander asked. “Oh, you don’t remember.” “I’m Doctor Slattery, I suppose you could call me your father...” His vision blurred. His balance faltered. Father? Images flooded Xander’s mind. Images of surgery tables, Of test tubes and preservation tanks. Xander turned for the door.
Agony burned through Xander’s body. “I’m sorry Beta, truly I am... You see, I stayed, once the vault closed. I stayed to look after Alpha, to see if she escaped... She can never escape, Beta.” He placed his hands to his chest and saw only blood. Xander felt his body convulse. “I am sorry, Beta, But you could be just like her. I couldn’t take that risk. I’m sorry...” Shock. Then numbness. Slowly, Xander’s life ebbed away.
The pain in Xander’s head became unbearable. He fell to the floor, unable to move. “Now, dear Brother, I’m going to put my mind, into your body. Don’t worry about me being a boy; we were never human to begin with...” The voice rang through his mind now like a scream. “Don’t worry, Brother. This isn’t death. You’ll always be a part of me. We’re finally together again!” With a laugh, she left
Xander, no, it was Annie now. Annie was in control. Annie left the vault. Freedom felt so good! Xander’s body was so strong, as was her own mind. Those nasty scientists were going to pay. And now she had the means with which to find them… The End For now…