Trigger Warnings: gore
*ASSET OUT OF CONTAINMENT*
*ALL SECURITY PERSONNEL REPORT TO LEVEL THREE IMMEDIATELY*
*ALL OTHER PERSONNEL EVACUATE TO DESIGNATED SAFE ZONES*
Hawkins groaned as he heard the alarm. Of course 003 broke out. If any Asset was going to try to make a break for it, it’d be that one. 001 wasn’t even animate, and 002 was smart enough to know that escaping was a waste of time. 003, though? Hawkins had seen a lot of strange and dangerous things in his time, but he’d never seen a living thing express that level of sheer, unbridled hatred until he’d locked eyes with 003. He’d warned the lab-coats that it’d be safer if it was euthanized on the spot, but they hadn’t listened.
And, now, it was loose in the facility. And he had to get it back in its cage.
He stepped in the armory, finding Burke already there, loading up her tranq rifle. She looked up as he entered, giving a small smirk when she recognized him. As Hawkins grabbed his own rifle and began loading it, she spoke:
“So, 003, huh?”
“I’d noticed,” he responded tersely.
Burke finished loading her rifle, cocking it once in an overly dramatic fashion. “I bet the lab-coats are wishing they’d listened to you now, don’t they?”
“I can imagine.” Hawkins was too preoccupied with getting his gear together to feel like much of a conversationalist. He knew that Burke wanted to be his friend, but years of working in security had taught him that close relationships were a bad idea. You never knew when one of your friends would end up eviscerated by some monster, or thrown out an airlock, or forcibly converted into a robot, or countless other possible gruesome fates.
Luckily, it seemed that Burke had taken his hint that he didn’t want to talk, and the two went about suiting up in relative silence. Soon enough, they had set off for Level Three. They didn’t know what exactly was waiting for them when they arrived.
But they knew it couldn’t be good.
Burke’s cries echoed through Level Three’s narrow hallways. Some bizarre aspect of the facility’s architecture resulted in her desperate screams reverberating for far longer than they would have in any normal structure. The echoes took so long to fade that they were interrupted by her next screams of pain.
“Hawkins, help me!”
Hawkins barely registered his surroundings as he ran through the corridors. They’d only been on Level Three for ten minutes, yet they had already gotten separated and, by the sound of things, Burke had encountered 003. Fortunately, her tracking bracelet was still functional, and Hawkins was able to use its link to his HUD to find her in the maze-like facility. If he survived this experience, he’d have a serious word with the architect who designed this floorplan.
“Oh god, Hawkins, help!”
He was getting close now. Just another 10 meters, and he should be right in front of her. Nobody had to die today.
8 meters now...
He turned the corner, his rifle primed to fire on the monster that was attacking his coworker. But, when the scene of carnage before him stood fully revealed, he suddenly found himself unable to act.
Hawkins’ path was blocked by 003, its 3-meter body filling the cramped hallway. Its body, an oily black patchwork of humanoid and reptilian parts, shimmered in the flashing alarm lights. Its jagged yellowed teeth protruded from its bulldog-like jaws at grotesque angles. Hawkins could see that they were stained with blood.
Clutched in one of its thin clawed hands was a severed human arm. The skin-tone matched Burke. A tracking bracelet beeped softly around its blood-stained wrist.
As Hawkins tried to process the flood of information, 003 opened its jaws. Its long neck shuddered as a strained sound escaped from its lipless mouth.
“Hawkins! Help me!”
Then, with a swing of 003’s clawed arms, Hawkins met an untimely end.